This paper discusses epidemiological studies of older adults and human–animal interaction (HAI), and potential relevance to future research on HAI and animal-assisted interventions (AAI) in aging populations. Key issues in epidemiological work are discussed, including target populations, treatment/exposures, follow up, and endpoint measures as they relate to interacting with or owning companion animals. In outlining the limits in our current state of knowledge, we also make recommendations for the design and analysis of epidemiological studies to advance research on HAI and aging.
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