"But before leaping to the conclusion that increasing rates of dog ownership in the population will unleash enormous cardiovascular benefits, we should acknowledge that adopting a dog is a much larger undertaking than embarking on a new medical therapy".
"We've known this forever, that pets make our lives better, but to know that the sum of it translates to better cardiovascular health is very exciting for those of us who like dogs and work in cardiology", Kazi said in a phone interview. Dog owners also had a lower risk for death during 638,219 person-years of follow-up after ischemic stroke (corresponding adjusted hazard ratios, 0.73 and 0.88, respectively).
The patients studied were Swedish residents aged 40-85 who experienced a heart attack or an ischemic stroke from 2001-2012. Stroke survivors living alone had a 27% reduced risk of death.
"Dog ownership was associated with a 24 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 31 per cent lower risk of death by heart attack or stroke compared to non-owners". Prior studies have shown that dog ownership alleviates social isolation, improves physical activity and even lowers blood pressure-leading researchers to believe dog owners could potentially have better cardiovascular outcomes compared to non-owners.
The review of the health benefits of man's best friend analyzed research involving almost 4 million people in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The study also noted that more research is needed to confirm a cause-effect relationship, and to give recommendations about prescribing dogs as a recovery strategy. Caroline Kramer, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada.
The benefit was highest for dog owners who lived alone. Our analyses did not account for confounders such as better fitness or an overall healthier lifestyle that could be associated with dog ownership. Another suggested that owning a dog fed older English adults stay fit during inclement weather.
The American Heart Association points to studies that found pet owners who walk their dogs got up to 30 minutes more exercise a day than non-walkers. He said dogs address multiple factors that contribute to cardiovascular diseases, including mental and physical health. They found that an estimated 182,000 people had a heart attack, with just 6 percent as dog owners.