Owning a dog may be the key to living longer, study finds


The researchers found that, compared to non-owners, dog owners experienced a 24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 65% reduced risk of mortality after suffering a heart attack.

In a new systemic review of almost 70 years of global research, scientists found that adopting a dog can reduce a person's risk of dying by 24 percent.

Good news, dog lovers: Having a canine companion at your side could actually help you live longer - especially if you're a stroke or heart attack survivor who lives alone.

"Further, these two studies provide good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality".

Kramer says the results are promising, but more research is needed to prove there are health benefits to having a dog.

Researchers analyzed data from 4 million people in six countries.

"Having a dog was associated with increased physical exercise, lower blood pressure levels and better cholesterol profile in previous reports", said Dr. Caroline Kramer, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and an endocrinologist in NY.

So if you don't have a dog, you might want consider remedying that situation.

People who lived alone after a heart attack or stroke saw the greatest upside.

Heart attack survivors living alone who owned dogs had a 33% lower risk of death compared to people who did not own a dog. The risk of death for them turned out to be 27% lower. "While these non-randomized studies can not "prove" that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this", said Dr. Glenn N. Levine, MD, in a statement to the American Heart Association. Merely petting a dog - notably a neatly-diagnosed one - lowers a individual's blood stress. It goes to also very neatly be the case that being more healthy and wealthier causes of us to be more inclined to manufacture a dog.

"There are studies suggesting that individuals who have dogs have a better cholesterol profile and lower blood pressure", said Kramer, who is a pet owner.

"I know a lot of my patients often say to me after they have a heart attack or stroke, can I even take care of a dog?".

"They influence social, emotional and cognitive development in children, promote an active lifestyle, and have even been able to detect oncoming epileptic seizures or the presence of certain cancers", the CDC said.

Isolation and loneliness have been linked to poor heart health outcomes, Kazi said, and owning a dog appears to ease a person's solitude enough to have a real benefit. "Maybe it's not the dog itself, it's that people already have a healthier lifestyle before".

Still, Kazi writes, the balance of the evidence to date convinces him that "the association between dog ownership and improved survival is real, and is likely at least partially causal".