Having a dog reduces the risk of death if you have heart problems

Having a dog reduces the risk of death if you have heart problems


The risk of death for dog owners who have suffered a stroke or heart attack appears to be much lower than for non-owners, once again proving that our four-legged friends are truly capable of saving us. life.

We know that just having a dog has a positive impact on our cardiovascular health. The company of an animal makes it possible to reduce social isolation, which favors the premature deaths. It also invites us to do more physical exercises. Based on this finding, researchers wondered whether having a dog waiting for us at home could also result in improved survival chances after a hospital stay. The short answer is yes.

On average 30% less risk
For this work, researchers from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, studied several health registers in their country. It focused on the records of 182,000 patients aged 40 to 85 who had suffered an acute heart attack between 2001 and 2012. And about 150,000 people (same age group) who suffered a stroke during the same period. period.

Of these two samples, one in 20 had a dog ownership record (mandatory in Sweden). The researchers pointed out that people who lived alone with their pets had about 30% less chance of dying within one year of their heart attack. If a partner or child was waiting for them, having a dog at home improved the odds by about 15%.

Same report following a stroke. People living alone with a dog were 27% less likely to die in the year following their attack. Those who had an animal in addition to a partner or a child still had a better chance of survival (about 12%).

Owning a dog would be an effective treatment for cardiovascular recovery. If it was a drug, a pharmaceutical company would derive considerable wealth, says Tove Fall, lead author of this study.

On the other hand, it does not encourage patients to adopt animals for this purpose alone. From the point of view of their well-being, he insists, dogs should only be adopted by people who feel that they have the ability and knowledge to give the animal a good life.