Owning a dog may help heart attack and stroke survivors live longer and healthier, the American Heart Association (AHA) announced. A Swedish study published by the AHA found a strong likelihood that dog ownership works against social isolation and  physical inactivity, both of which are serious problems among survivors of cardiac events. As a non-randomized trial, the AHA conceded, the study can’t be said to flat-out prove anything. But researchers said the results were so persuasive, they were ready to endorse dog ownership for patients. Dog owners they studied had a 24% lower risk of mortality from all causes than non-dog owners.


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