For example, those who walk their dogs at least 20 or 30 minutes per day are already meeting the American Heart Association's recommendation for 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Caroline Kramer, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and an endocrinologist in NY. Researchers reviewed data on 3.8 million patients taken from 10 other studies, and found that dog owners experienced a 24% reduced risk of death from all causes; a 65% reduced risk of death following a heart attack; and a 31% reduced risk of death due to cardiovascular problems.
Specifically, owning a dog made it 33% less likely you would die from a heart attack.
"We know that loneliness and sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for premature death", Tove Fall, professor of molecular epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden and study co-author, told NBC. Merely petting a dog - notably a neatly-diagnosed one - lowers a individual's blood stress.
"People who lived with a dog actually had less mortality than people living alone who didn't have a dog", said Gulati, who was not involved in either study.
"There are studies suggesting that individuals who have dogs have a better cholesterol profile and lower blood pressure", said Kramer, who is a pet owner. Researchers haven't done many analysis, as an illustration, that narrate one neighborhood of of us to engage a dog, and one other neighborhood to dwell petless, and discover their health over a period of time. Their results show even greater benefit to the dog owners.
Having a dog to care for not only increases physical activity, it reduces social isolation, which could help heart attack and stroke survivors in their recoveries, experts said. "They worry because they don't want to leave the dog alone if something happens to them", Gulati said.
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It is possible that these owners are more likely to have higher incomes, or that they are more likely to have active lifestyles, she said.
A study out this week in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, published by the American Heart Association, finds new evidence that dog ownership is linked with longer lives in their owners.
However, the AHA also says that pet ownership is a caring commitment that comes with certain financial costs and responsibilities, so "the primary goal of adopting, rescuing, or purchasing a pet" should not be to reduce cardiovascular risk.
"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".
"The overall understanding of cardiovascular health is that the earlier that we implement healthier behaviors, the better", Kramer said.