This Week In The Bmj

How pets influence owners' health

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 24 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:0-d

On 1252 McNicholas and colleagues discuss the effects that pets might have on their owners' health. Studies in the 1980s suggested many beneficial effects of owning a pet, such as higher survival rates after myocardial infarction, but recent studies have failed to replicate many of these findings. However, pet ownership and health can be viewed in a wider context, say the authors, and discuss the effects that pets can have on wellbeing (physical and mental) and social integration.

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