Who Is Rescuing Whom? Dog Ownership and Cardiovascular Health

A pair of reports published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that dog owners have a lower risk of early death than people without canine companionship, particularly when it comes to dying from a heart attack or stroke. Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS, Associate Director of the Smith Center for Outcomes Research at BIDMC, wrote an accompanying editorial about the two new reports.

In the accompanying editorial, Dr. Kazi outlines that there are well-documented mental health benefits to dog ownership as dogs offer companionship, reduce anxiety and loneliness, increase self-esteem, and improve overall mood. He also mentions physical benefits too: Studies show that acquiring a dog perforce increases physical exercise, and people who own dogs tend to spend more time outdoors, which is known to be beneficial to health.

Dr. Kazi is available for interview. Please reach out to Lindsey Diaz-MacInnis at ldiaz2@bidmc.harvard.edu to coordinate an interview.

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