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Pets, depression and long-term survival in community living patients following myocardial infarction

By E. Friedmann, S. A. Thomas, H. S. Son

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Abstract

Evidence supports the contribution of depression, anxiety, and poor social support to mortality of hospitalized myocardial infarction (MI) patients. The contribution of depression to survival is independent of disease severity. Pet ownership, a non-human form of social support, has also been associated with one-year survival of post-MI patients. The current study addresses whether pet ownership contributes independently to long-term survival beyond the contributions of depression, anxiety, or low social support in post-MI patients who have already survived at least six months. Data from patients (n=460) enrolled in the "Psychosocial Responses in the Home Automated External Defibrillator Trial (PR-HAT)" were used. Seventeen patients died during a median follow-up of 2.8 years. In Cox proportional hazards regression models that included depression, lack of pet ownership, and the interaction between depression and lack of pet ownership, not owning a pet was the only significant independent predictor of mortality (p=0.036). The interaction between pet ownership and depression tended to be significant, indicating that the effect of pet ownership on survival in this group of people who have supportive spouses/companions living with them may relate to depression.

Date 2011
Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 273-285
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175303711X13045914865268
Language English
Author Address University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.friedmann@son.umaryland.edu
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animal health and hygiene
  3. Anthrozoology
  4. Attitudes
  5. Automation
  6. Follow-up studies
  7. Hazards
  8. Heart attack
  9. Interactions
  10. models
  11. mortality
  12. myocardial infarction
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. Pets and companion animals
  15. predictions
  16. predictors
  17. Public Services
  18. Social psychology and social anthropology
  19. social welfare
  20. survival
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed