Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Medical | By

Want to live longer? Try getting a dog

Want to live longer? Try getting a dog

Need an excellent reason to add a dog to your life?

Scientists at the American Heart Association say that compared to those without a pet dog, owners experienced a 24 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality and are 65 per cent less likely to die after a heart attack.

"Dog ownership", the authors conclude, "is associated with lower risk of death over the long term, which is possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality".

"For those people, having a dog was even more beneficial".

Researchers analyzed data over 3.8 million people taken from 10 studies published between 1950 and 1950.

"Having a dog was associated with increased physical exercise, lower blood pressure levels and better cholesterol profile in previous reports", said Dr.

More specifically, heart attack survivors living alone who owned a dog had a 33 percent lower risk compared to those living alone who did not own a dog. The data showed even greater benefits among those who'd experienced cardiovascular issues, such as a heart attack and stroke.


A man walks his dog on the boardwalk along Lake Ontaro in Toronto on Monday, January 16, 2017.

"We know that loneliness and social isolation are strong risk factors for premature death and our hypothesis was that the company of a pet can alleviate that", said study author Tove Fall, an associate professor of epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden.

A separate study also found that people who owned dogs had better health outcomes after major cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or stroke.

Researchers haven't done many studies, for instance, that direct one group of people to purchase a dog, and another group to remain petless, and track their health over a period of time.

It's plausible that such physical and psychological health benefits are the pathway wherein dog possession makes a individual dwell longer. 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. Those types of studies are considered the gold standard of evidence, what you'd need to be able to say definitively that owning a dog causes people to live longer. One of the larger studies included in the review controlled for a variety of socio-economic and demographic factors and found that the longevity effect of dog ownership remained.

In fact, a number of cardiologists believe in the benefits of dog ownership so much they will actually prescribe a dog for their patients, if they believe the person can appropriately care for a pet.

"Basically the most salient benefits of dog possession on cardiovascular outcomes", Kazi writes, "are seemingly mediated by design of considerable and sustained enhancements in psychological health, together with lower charges of despair, diminished loneliness, and elevated self-admire".

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