AKIPRESS.COM - Dog owners can take heart from new research about the possible health benefits of having a dog. According to two new studies by the American Heart Association, owning a dog is associated with an increased likelihood of living longer, especially among people who've previously had a heart attack or stroke.
The findings are published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association.
In a study of dog-owning and non-dog owning survivors of heart attacks or strokes, researchers determined that dog owners across the board experienced lower rates of death from heart attacks or strokes. The study was conducted in Sweden between 2001 and 2012 using the country's National Patient Register.
Dog owners in the study tended to have a "better outcome after a major cardiovascular event," the researchers found, although the study did not prove cause and effect. The reason could be due to an increase in physical activity and decrease in depression and loneliness among dog owners, which previous studies have confirmed, CBSNews reported.