Pet ownership and risk of dying from cancer: observation from a nationally representative cohort
International Journal of Environmental Health Research
We longitudinally examined the relationship between pet ownership and risk of dying from cancer in a nationally representative cohort of 13,725 adults in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. The vital status was followed through 31 December 2010. Women who owned pets (any type) presented one-year shorter survival time (15.88 years) than non-pet owner (16.83 years). A larger difference of survival time was particularly seen in bird owners (13.01 years) compared to non-bird owners (16.82 years). After adjusting for potential confounders, hazard ratio (HR) of dying from cancer associated with any type of pets was 1.08 (95% CI = 0.77-1.50) for men and 1.40 (1.01-1.93) for women. The association in women was presumably driven by owning birds [HR 2.41 (1.34-4.31)] or cats [HR 1.48 (0.97-2.24)]. Keeping birds and cats in the household was associated with an increased risk of dying from cancer, especially in women.
Buck, Brian, Kamalich Muniz-Rodriguez, Sarah Jillson, Li-Ting Huang, Atin Adhikari, Naduparambil Jacob, Yudan Wei, Jian Zhang.
"Pet ownership and risk of dying from cancer: observation from a nationally representative cohort."
International Journal of Environmental Health Research.