Dog owners have reduced risk of dying from heart problems, says researcher

Don't worry cat lovers. A 2009 study found a lower risk of death by heart attack and overall cardiovascular disease among cat owners even if they no longer lived with their fluffy friend

Don't worry cat lovers. A 2009 study found a lower risk of death by heart attack and overall cardiovascular disease among cat owners even if they no longer lived with their fluffy friend

"While these non-randomised 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".

Owning a dog has been linked to a longer life and a lower chance of dying of a heart problem, according to a pair of studies.

Dog owners who lived alone were 33 percent less likely to die after leaving hospital compared with those who didn't have a pooch, dropping to 15 percent if the individual had a partner or child at home.

In the study, nearly 182,000 people were recorded to have had a heart attack, with almost 6% being dog owners, and nearly 155,000 people were recorded to have had an ischemic stroke, with almost 5% being dog owners.

The lower risk of death associated with dog ownership could be explained by an increase in physical activity and the decreased depression and loneliness, both of which have been connected to dog ownership in previous studies.

In the other study, Dr.

Fall, a veterinarian and professor of Molecular Epidemiology at Sweden's Uppsala University, commented in a statement: "We know that social isolation is a strong risk factor for worse health outcomes and premature death".

"Furthermore, keeping a dog is a good motivation for physical activity, which is an important factor in rehabilitation and mental health", she said.

Kramer has also personally experienced the positive side-effects of dog ownership in the form of her miniature schnauzer, Romeo, whom she credits with increasing her physical activity by 10,000 steps per day.

A study released Tuesday suggests dog owners live longer than their canine-less counterparts, experiencing almost a one-third lower risk of dying from heart problems.

In the meta-analysis, Researchers reviewed patient data of over 3.8 million people taken from 10 separate studies for a composite meta-analysis study.

Researchers found that compared to non-owners, dog owners experienced a 24 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality, 65 per cent reduced risk of mortality after heart attack; and 31 per cent reduced risk of mortality due to cardiovascular-related issues. Another suggested that owning a dog helped older English adults stay fit during inclement weather. Studies were excluded if they were retrospective, did not provide an absolute number of events that occurred and reported non-fatal cardiovascular events. "Maybe it's not the dog itself, it's that people already have a healthier lifestyle before".

Dr Kramer said: "Our findings suggest that having a dog is associated with longer life. As a pet owner myself, I can say that adopting Romeo (the author's miniature Schnauzer) has increased my steps and physical activity each day, and he has filled my daily routine with joy and unconditional love".

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