Health

Having a dog can boost your chance of survival after heart attack – Research

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A new research has suggested that people who owned a dog have more chance of survival those who don’t after suffering from a heart attack, Medical news today reports.

Plenty of research has suggested that owning a dog can be beneficial to health. Two new studies now add to the existing evidence, finding an association between dog ownership and a significantly lower death risk following a stroke or heart attack.

Owning a dog could help prolong the lifespan of a person who has experienced a serious cardiovascular event.
“The findings in these two well-done studies and analyses build upon prior studies and the conclusions of the 2013 [American Heart Association] 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,” says Dr. Glenn Levine, chair of the writing group that authored this scientific statement.

“Further, these two studies provide good, quality data indicating [that] dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality,” Dr. Levine, who was not involved in this research, adds.

“While these non-randomized studies cannot ‘prove’ that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this.”

Previous research has suggested that people who live with dogs appear to have a much lower risk of both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, compared with individuals who do not count dogs among their family members.

The two new studies have now found an association between dog ownership and a lower risk of death among individuals who have experienced a heart attack, a stroke, or another cardiovascular problem.

The results of both studies appear in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The first study — conducted by researchers from Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, both in Uppsala, Sweden — used the Swedish National Patient Register to identify individuals aged 40–85 who had experienced either a heart attack or an ischemic stroke between 2001 and 2012.

In total, this amounted to 344,272 individuals, of whom 186, 421 had experienced a heart attack and 157,851 a stroke within this period. To find out how many of these people owned dogs, the researchers consulted Swedish Board of Agriculture and Swedish Kennel Club records.

The researchers found that in this cohort, people who owned dogs had better health prospects than those who did not.

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