And dog owners who lived alone after being hospitalized for a stroke were 27% less likely to die early, compared to non-owners, while those who lived with someone were 12% less likely.
The second analysis from Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada reviewed the patient data of over 3.8 million people from 10 separate studies across the world.
Compared to non-owners, they said dog owners had a 24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality, a 65% lower chance of dying after a heart attack and a 31% decreased risk of death from any heart-related issues.
"The findings in these two well-done studies and analyses build upon prior studies and the conclusions of the 2013 AHA Scientific Statement 'Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk' that dog ownership is associated with reductions in factors that contribute to cardiac risk and to cardiovascular events," said Glenn Levine, chair of the writing group of the American Heart Association's scientific statement on pet ownership.
Although the scientists noted these reports do not prove having a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, they believe dogs can help boost physical activity, which is known to help lower cardiovascular disease risk.
“Having a dog was associated with increased physical exercise, lower blood pressure levels and better cholesterol profile in previous reports,” said Caroline Kramer, co-author of the Mount Sinai study. “As such, the findings that people who owned dogs lived longer and their risk for cardiovascular death was also lower are somewhat expected.”
Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look here.
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