Study Finds that Owning a Dog Can Prevent Early Death

Dogs truly are a man’s best friend, and it goes without saying that owning a dog has tons of benefits—including preventing a possible early death.

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Researchers have found that those who owned a dog had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Gathering data from ten studies published between 1950 and May 2019 that included more than 3.8 million individuals, they have recorded over 530,000 deaths in an average of 10 years’ follow-up.

Upon further analysis, the researchers have found that those who owned dogs had a 24% lower risk of death at any age, as well as a 31% lower risk of heart-related death, compared to those who didn’t own dogs. Dog-owners who currently had heart-related diseases, on the other hand, were 65% less likely to die.

Lead author Dr. Caroline K. Kramer, an endocrinologist at the University of Toronto, clarified to The New York Times in an interview that the studies were “observational and do not prove cause and effect.”

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However, she did note that the proven benefits of having a dog, such as “cardiovascular advantages, reduced symptoms of depression, lower blood pressure, and the striking association for people who have already had cardiovascular disease,” are enough to convince anyone of its significance.

She also notes that lifestyle factors were not taken into consideration in the study.

These findings were published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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