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Pet ownership and survival in the elderly hypertensive population

Chowdhury, Enayet K.; Nelson, Mark R.; Jennings, Garry L.R.; Wing, Lindon M.H.; Reid, Christopher M.; on behalf of the ANBP2 Management Committee

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001214
ORIGINAL PAPERS: Elderly

Objectives: To assess the association of pet ownership and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality over a long-term follow-up among elderly treated hypertensive participants.

Methods: Pet-ownership data from a subcohort of the Second Australian National Blood Pressure study were used. Participants were aged 65–84 years at enrolment (1995–1997) and responded to a pet-ownership questionnaire during year 2000. Participants’ survival information was determined over a median of 10.9 years that includes Second Australian National Blood Pressure in-trial period (median 4.2 years) together with posttrial follow-up period (median 6.9 years). For the current study, end points were any fatal cardiovascular event and all-cause fatal events.

Results: Of those who responded to a pet-ownership questionnaire (4039/6018 – 67%), 86% (3490/4039) owned at least one pet at any-time during their life (current or previous pet owner), with 36% (1456/4039) owning at least one pet at the time of the survey. During the follow-up period, 958 participants died including 499 deaths of cardiovascular origin. Using a Cox proportional hazard regression model adjusting for possible confounders, there was a 22 and 26% reduction in cardiovascular mortality observed among previous and current pet owners, respectively, compared with those who had never owned one. A similar nonsignificant trend was observed for all-cause mortality once adjusted for potential confounders.

Conclusion: Pet ownership was associated with an improved cardiovascular disease survival in a treated elderly hypertensive population.

aCentre of Cardiovascular Research & Education in Therapeutics, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria

bMenzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania

cBaker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria

dSchool of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia

eSchool of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Correspondence to Enayet K. Chowdhury, MBBS, MPH, PhD, Centre of Cardiovascular Research & Education in Therapeutics, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 6th Floor, Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Rd, Melbourne 3004, VIC, Australia. Tel: +61 3 99030524; fax: +61 3 9903 0556; e-mail: enayet.chowdhury@monash.edu

Abbreviation: ANBP2, Second Australian National Blood Pressure study

Received 4 August, 2016

Revised 26 September, 2016

Accepted 16 November, 2016

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