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Want to age better? Start with a pet, science suggests

February 22, 2023

A study conducted by the University of Michigan (USA) found that living with pets can interrupt cognitive decline. About 20,000 people over the age of 50 who underwent brain performance tests every two years between 2010 and 2016 were involved in the survey.

The researchers found that people over 65 who had a pet for more than two years had higher cognitive scores than those of the same age who owned pets for less time or did not experience it at all. The study also found that pet owners tend to have lower BMI and lower rates of diabetes and hypertension.

However, the authors point out that the findings show correlation rather than causality, as individuals with higher cognitive scores may be more likely to have pets later in life simply because they are able to care for them.

“We do not recommend adopting a pet as a therapeutic intervention, however, if there is a causal link between pet ownership and good cognitive health, older adults interested and engaged in the care that a pet requires may benefit,” the authors wrote.

Source: SAGE Journals | Valor Econômico