Own A Dog, Live Years Longer

Oct 9, 2019

Market Watch – Roll over — and delay death?

Turns out, one of the many tricks that dogs can do for their humans is to help them live longer — especially if they live alone, or have previously suffered a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

The tail-wagging findings come from a meta-analysis of almost 70 years of global research published in the journal Circulation on Tuesday, as well as a new Swedish study of heart attack and stroke survivors spanning over a decade.

The first meta-analysis drew on data from almost 4 million people in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Scandinavia, and associated dog ownership with a 24% decreased risk of dying by any cause, and a 64% reduced risk of death after a heart attack in particular.

In fact, if the dog owner had experienced a heart attack or stroke, then that person saw a 31% decreased risk of death, compared to the cardiovascular event survivors without a dog.

“Having a dog was associated with increased physical exercise, lower blood pressure levels and better cholesterol profile in previous reports,” wrote Dr. Caroline Kramer, assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Those are all keys to a healthy heart.

This news comes on the heels of a separate study of more than 336,000 Swedish dog owners and non-owners who had suffered a heart attack or stroke, which was also published Tuesday.

And it found that the risk of death for heart attack patients who lived alone — but had dogs — was 33% lower than the solitary adults without dogs. And stroke patients living alone with pups had a 27% lower risk of death compared to those without dogs.

Pet ownership appears to especially benefit those who live alone … Read more. 

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