Tech & Science : Owning a Dog Lowers Your Risk of Death if You've Had Heart Problems, Study Shows - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Owning a Dog Lowers Your Risk of Death if You've Had Heart Problems, Study Shows

07:05  10 october  2019
07:05  10 october  2019 Source:   sciencealert.com

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A recent study conducted in Sweden found the risk of death for dog owners returning home from hospital after a stroke or heart attack was significantly lower than those who didn't come home to a face-licking ball of happiness. Uppsala University researchers used a major national health register to

Having a dog in the home substantially reduces the risk of heart attacks and other fatal conditions, a major study has shown . Researchers found that dog ownership had a dramatic effect on people who live alone, cutting the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 36%. In households with more

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A recent study conducted in Sweden found the risk of death for dog owners returning home from hospital after a stroke or heart attack was significantly lower than those who didn't come home to a face-licking ball of happiness.

Uppsala University researchers used a major national health register to come up with a list of nearly 182,000 patients aged 40 to 85 who'd suffered an acute heart attack between 2001 and 2012.

Similarly, they collected information on just over 150,000 patients the same age who'd had a stroke during that period.

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“ Dog ownership is associated with lower risk of death over the long term Originally, the study was to see whether dog ownership was associated with reducing cardiovascular mortality, but the data showed it For those with risk of heart attack or stroke, having a dog was even more beneficial

Heart attack survivors living alone who owned dogs had a 33% lower risk of death compared to people who did not own a dog . Other studies suggest dogs provide companionship and affection that can reduce anxiety and depression. That’ s especially important after a major illness, such as a

Even following the best medical care, patient health can take a turn for the worse after returning home. In the year following their heart attack, roughly 30,000 of the patients had passed away.

Several years ago, the same Uppsala researchers found those who owned dogs generally had better cardiovascular health. Now it was time to see if that translated into improved odds of survival in the wake of a hospital stay.

Across the two groups of patient records they gathered for this new study, roughly one in twenty people had current records of dog ownership - as Sweden instated mandatory dog registration in 2001, the researchers used this measure as a proxy for identifying the dog owners in their sample.

By comparing the mortality rates between the dog owners and the rest of the patient sample, the team found not only were our canine companions correlated with better health, that improvement was a real life saver.

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Similarly, death risk for dog - owning stroke survivors was 27 percent lower if they live alone and 12 Everyone who owned a dog had a reduced risk of death compared to those without a dog , but " If you own a dog , it doesn't matter how tired you are or how cold out it is, you still have to go for a walk.

Having a pet dog is linked to better heart health and a longer life, according to Researchers found that, among the general population, dog owners had a 24 percent lower risk of death from any cause over While the studies don’t prove that dog ownership leads to longer lives — they can only show

For those who lived alone with their pup, the risk of dying in the wake of a heart attack was a full third lower. Even if there was a partner or a child waiting at home, adding a dog to the mix improved odds by around 15 percent.

The results were similar for those who'd had a stroke; those living alone with a dog saw a 27 percent drop, while those with a dog in addition to a partner or child were 12 percent better off.

In addition to looking at the risk of death in the years following a heart attack, the team looked at the chances of a return to hospital for a repeat episode at least a month later. For dog owners, those measures dropped as well, by just under 10 percent.

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We do need to put all this into context, however: the worst time for those who have survived a heart attack is the following month, with just over 1 percent of all patients having a repeat attack. This drops to just 0.3 percent after those first 30 days.

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Dog owners are at lower risks of death by any cause, 65% less likely to die after a heart attack, 31% less at Of those, almost 155,000 had had a stroke - and five percent of those owned a dog . That' s not surprising when you consider that previous studies , too, have documented the lower cholesterol

Previous studies have shown that living alone increases your cardiovascular risk , so owning a dog may help mitigate that risk . This study backs up a 2013 statement by the American Heart Association, which said that owning a dog was “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart

So, in absolute terms, the slightly improved odds for dog owners might not be all that huge.

The research stops short of an explanation of the results, but in light of previous studies on pet ownership our love of dogs could be doing wonders for our health in a variety of ways.

It's fair to say that, based on other studies, those who come home to an empty house are already at a bit of a health disadvantage. Whether it's a spouse or simply a caring circle of friends, good company is the secret to living a longer life.

"We know that social isolation is a strong risk factor for worse health outcomes and premature death. Previous studies have indicated that dog owners experience less social isolation and have more interaction with other people," says Uppsala University epidemiologist Tove Fall.

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

Having slightly better odds of avoiding a return to hospital (or worse!) after a cardiac event might be good reason for some to purchase a pup.

But the researchers make it clear that this should only be one factor when it comes making the decision on whether to become a responsible pet owner.

"Moreover, from an animal welfare perspective, dogs should only be acquired by people who feel they have the capacity and knowledge to give the pet a good life," says Fall.

This research was published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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