Nationwide® Veterinary Analytics

To reach Nationwide’s veterinary analytics team with questions, comments or media requests, contact Nationwide’s Corporate Communications team at news@nationwide.com

Information available as of March 1, 2022.

aging

Aging Well: Old dogs, new data (Part 1)

To download the white paper as a pdf, click here.

To download the methodology for the white paper, click here.

With graying muzzles and slower strides, pets move ever-deeper into our hearts as they age. Growing old is unavoidable, but the maladies associated with aging are not always inevitable—and some that are can be minimized with early intervention and good veterinary care.

But what diseases should veterinary healthcare teams and pet families be aware of, and when? How targeted is it possible to be around prevention, awareness, and optimal management of senior diseases? Nationwide’s Pet Health Analytics and Insights Team analyzed data from policy and claims data from 3,464,566 dog years at risk (DYAR) and 626,137 cat years at risk (CYAR) and found the following:

  • The impact of the law of large numbers. With relatively few exceptions, peer-reviewed studies are considered useful with cohorts numbering in the hundreds of dogs or cats (or even less), and focusing on a single breed or a handful of breeds. As the largest U.S. pet health insurer, Nationwide is able to access millions of health records for hundreds of breeds. These massive cohorts allow for a depth of risk analysis at a level of statistical credibility that is incomparable to existing published data.
  • The value of incorporating American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Life Stage Guidelines into data studies. Inclusion of AAHA Life Stage Guidelines into analyses allows for the creation of dynamic studies that are more applicable and accessible to pet families and veterinary healthcare teams.
  • The role that a better understanding of senior pet risks by breed and dog type can have in driving key health interventions. Pet families and veterinary healthcare teams can best partner together for informed prevention, early diagnosis, and optimal disease management along a spectrum of care with targeted, personalized education throughout the life of companion animals.

Digging into data around comorbidities

With such a quantity of data, Nationwide is able to dig into not just specific conditions, but also conditions that occur together. It may be logical that two pancreatic conditions, diabetes mellitus and pancreatitis, have a considerable crossover, but the degree of overlap and the common sequence of the conditions has not been quantified to such a degree.

Read the white paper to see the risks of the diseases in senior dogs, a full discussion of the most affected breeds, and information on the clinical significance of the findings.

vet-chart-aging1

Breed risk rankings from millions of “pet years” filtered through AAHA Life Stage Definitions

Arthritis risk by breed chart

Analyses from Nationwide’s huge volume of data, filtered through AAHA’s Life Stage Definitions creates insights that are consistent with how pet owners generally perceive their dog’s maturation and aging process and provides a readily understood basis for an evolving, lifelong healthcare strategy

See the white paper for a full discussion of why the larger analysis focused specifically on mixed-breed dogs over purebred dogs.