Dr. Caroline Kramer, Endocrinologist and Clinician Scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes, has always been a dog person. So when she read studies that looked at the impacts of owning a dog, her interest was piqued. “I started to wonder what the evidence was across the board and if the results were reliable. It seemed like a great opportunity for further study.”

Caroline and researchers Sadia Mehmood and Renée S. Suen have just released the results of that inquiry, Dog Ownership and Survival: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis through the Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes Journal Report. In this study, Caroline has made some important findings that will cause dog lovers to rejoice. Most significantly, compared to non-owners, dog owners experienced a 24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality; a 65% reduced risk of mortality after heart attack, and 31% reduced risk of mortality due to cardiovascular-related issues.

“Having a dog was associated with increased physical exercise, lower blood pressure levels and better cholesterol profile in previous reports,” said Caroline. “As such, the finding that people who owned dogs lived longer and their risk for cardiovascular death was also lower, is somewhat expected.”

Caroline was deeply inspired by her own furry companion. “I’ve always loved dogs,” she says, “but after moving around between Brazil, the United States and Canada, it wasn’t practical to have a dog. Now that I have settled in Toronto and adopted Romeo (her miniature Schnauzer), I’ve not only made my steps count increase, but I have filled my daily routine with joy and unconditional love.”

Read the full study here: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.005554