Association between pet ownership and cardiovascular risks and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis



El-Qushayri AE, Kamel AMA, Faraj HA, Vuong NL, Diab OM, Istanbuly S, Elshafei TA, Makram OM, Sattar Z, Istanbuly O, Mukit SAA, Elfaituri MK, Low SK, Huy NT.


J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2020 May;21(5):359-367. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000920.


The aim of the study was to determine the association between pet ownership and cardiovascular risk factors and mortality. Electronic search was conducted through nine databases including PubMed for relevant publications reporting cardiovascular events and mortality among pet owners. Meta-analysis was used to pool the results. Of a total of 2818 reports screened, 26 studies were included in our systematic review and meta-analysis. Higher survival rate was observed in the pet owners group after pooling nonadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios for cardiovascular mortality at 0.73 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.62-0.86] and 0.81 (0.68-0.97), respectively. A similar trend was observed for the pooled nonadjusted hazard ratio for overall mortality 0.73 (0.62-0.87) but not the adjusted hazard ratio 0.40 (0.04-3.78). Cat owners have a reduction in cardiovascular mortality but not overall mortality after pooling the adjusted hazard ratio 0.79 (0.63-0.99) and 1.04 (0.90-1.21), respectively. However, no significant association between dog owners and survival rate was observed for overall and cardiovascular-specific mortality. Pet owners had significantly lower heart rate (mean difference 95% CI: -2.32 (-3.07 to -1.57), mean arterial pressure -2.60 (-4.25 to -0.95) and SBP -1.69 (-3.06 to -0.31) but not DBP -0.23 (-1.05 to 0.60). No significant difference was observed between pet owners and nonpet owners in prevalence of hypertension. Our study draws attention to the beneficial effects of the human–pet bond; therefore, we recommend pet acquisition for better cardiovascular outcomes after controlling for zoonotics and pet-induced allergies.

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Link/DOI: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000920