Monday, 14 October, 2019

Dog Ownership May Lower Risk for Death After Major CV Event

Man's best friend is well known for devotion and loyalty but did you know that dogs can also extend our lifespans? A new meta-analysis of research on nearly 4 million people found dog owners were 24% less likely to die for any reason Owning a Dog Linked to Living Longer, Lower Risk of Dying of a Heart Problem
Samantha Long | 11 October, 2019, 13:33

"As such, the findings that people who owned dogs lived longer and their risk for cardiovascular death was also lower are somewhat expected". What they found is that if you want to improve your health, a dog may be an even better way to do that than first thought.

In a study of dog-owning and non-dog owning survivors of heart attacks or strokes, researchers determined that dog owners across the board experienced lower rates of death from heart attacks or strokes.

The study participants were between the ages of 40 and 85 and had suffered heart attacks or strokes between 2001 and 2012.

The risk of death for stroke patients living alone after hospitalization was 27% lower and 12% lower for those living with a partner or child.

As part of their work, researchers looked at the outcomes of individuals who had a stroke or heart attack and who did and did not own dogs.

"Dog ownership is associated with lower risk of death over the long term", Mount Sinai endocrinologist Dr.

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"We know that social isolation is a strong risk factor for worse health outcomes and premature death".

In an effort to expand on previous data suggesting dog ownership reduces cardiovascular risk, investigators performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of literature-literature was obtained through a search of articles published in Embase and PubMed between 1950 and May 2019. The data revealed that dog owners had a "24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality, 65% reduced risk of mortality after heart attack and 31% reduced risk of mortality due to cardiovascular-related issues" compared to non-dog owners.

The results are not that surprising when you consider that previous studies, too, have documented the lower cholesterol and blood pressure profiles of dog owners and the share amount of time they spend being physically active on the animal's behalf. Shelter leaders say adopting is a win-win because you're not only helping a dog in need, but also potentially prolonging your life. Further research is important to determine the causal relationship of the factors, and to provide recommendations for prescribing dogs for prevention of serious cardiovascular conditions.

The clinician scientist noted that her team's analysis didn't account for variables that may explain the difference in health outcomes between dog owners and the rest of the population.

Cats may have nine lives, but owning a dog may extend yours, in Toronto researcher says. "The results, however, were very positive", she added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies show dogs decrease stress and promote relaxation and impact almost all stages of our lives.

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