One of the many tricks that dogs can do for their humans is to help them live longer — especially if they live alone, or have previously suffered a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
The tail-wagging findings come from a meta-analysis of almost 70 years of global research published in the journal “Circulation” on Tuesday, as well as a new Swedish study of heart attack and stroke survivors spanning over a decade.
The first meta-analysis drew on data from almost 4 million people in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Scandinavia, and associated dog ownership with a 24% decreased risk of dying by any cause, and a 64% reduced risk of death after a heart attack in particular. In fact, if the dog owner had experienced a heart attack or stroke, then that person saw a 31% decreased risk of death, compared to the cardiovascular event survivors without a dog.
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Featured image credit: KRBE