Stephen: Owning a dog could be secret to longer life

Want to live longer? Get a dog! That’s the conclusion of a research review published Tuesday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. The analysis looked at 70 years of data involving four million people in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Australia. “Dog ownership was associated with a 24 percent reduction in all cause mortality,” said Mount Sinai endocrinologist Dr. Caroline Kramer, the lead author. “Our analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause.” For people who have had a heart attack or stroke, having a furry companion is even better for their health, as the review found they “had a 31 per cent reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease,” Kramer said. A smaller study of 336,000 Swedish men and women, which was also published Tuesday in Circulation echoed the latter conclusion by finding that dog owners were in better shape after a heart attack or stroke, especially if they lived alone.

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