Health Care

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

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

But Minnesota Stroke Institute research over a 10-year period found similar benefits came with owning a cat.

She said that there is more to life than that of other people. Dog owners had a 65% reduced risk of death following a heart attack and a 31% reduced risk of death from heart disease, the researchers said. "Maybe it's not the dog itself, it's that people already have a healthier lifestyle before".

"The most interesting part of this study was that people who lived alone actually seem to get the greatest benefit in both the heart attack group and the stroke group", said pet owner Dr. Martha Gulati, who is the editor-in-chief of, the American College of Cardiology's patient education platform. Stroke survivors living alone had a 27% reduced risk.

Both reports were published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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

Kramer undertook the research after noticing changes in her own behaviour after she adopted her own dog, a miniature schnauzer named Romeo.

"Our analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause", said Mount Sinai endocrinologist Dr.

In the past, studies have shown that having a dog alleviates the symptoms of social isolation. Solitary people typically don't exercise, but having a dog forces people to go outside and have a walk at least once per day.

Heart attack survivors living alone who owned dogs had a 33% lower risk of death compared to people who did not own a dog.

"One study, my favorite, found just the effect of petting a dog can reduce your blood pressure as much as a medication", Kramer said.

However, the benefits of dogs are not only physical, they also contribute to human mental health.

Using data from the Swedish National Patient Register, the Swedish Kennel Club and the Swedish Board of Agriculture dog registers, researchers studied residents aged 40-85 who experienced a heart attack or stroke from 2001 to 2012.

The investigators identified more than 181 000 heart attack victims, about 6% of whom owned a dog, and almost 155 000 stroke survivors, of whom 5% owned a dog. With a spouse or children at home, the risk of death decreased by only 12%.

Dog owners can take heart from new analyses concerning the potential health advantages of getting a dog.

"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".

Beyond emotional support, it appears dogs can provide physical support as well.

"If you own a dog, it doesn't matter how exhausted you are or how cold out it is, you still have to go for a walk".

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