Dog owners have lower mortality

Dog owners have lower mortality

Dog owners have lower mortality

"There might also be differences between owners and non-owners already before buying a dog, which could have influenced our results, such as those people choosing to get a dog tending to be more active and of better health".

Researchers also found the lowest rate of cardiovascular disease was among owners of hunting breeds, which isn't surprising when you think about the high-intensity workout they get when their dogs spot a squirrel.

In addition, the researchers were hesitant to assert conclusively that the habits surrounding dog ownership lead to health.

The study looked at previously self-reported data on almost 3.5 million Swedes between the ages of 40 and 80.

People in possession of a pooch were less likely to have cardiovascular disease or die from any cause during the 12 years covered by the study, according to the study published in Scientific Reports. Even more interesting: Owners of breeds like terriers, retrievers and scent hounds were even less likely to develop heart disease. The participants were followed for more than a decade, and 13.1 percent were dog owners at any given time during the study period.

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"A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household", said co-author Mwenya Mubanga, a doctoral student at Uppsala University in Sweden. It said owning a dog cuts down the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 36 per cent for people that live alone. Dog ownership has also been linked to elevated parasympathetic and diminished sympathetic nervous system activity, lower reactivity to stress and faster recovery of blood pressure after a stressful activity.

"Whether you're a pet owner or not, keeping active is a great way to help improve your heart health".

"However, as many dog owners may agree, the main reason for owning a dog is the sheer joy".

"These kind of epidemiological studies look for associations in large populations but do not provide answers on whether and how dogs could protect from cardiovascular disease", Tove Fall, a senior author of the study and a professor at Uppsala University, said in a statement. "Our observational study can not provide evidence for a causal effect of dog ownership on cardiovascular disease or mortality", they write.

"We have a colder climate so we have indoor dogs where owners take their dogs out for a walk".

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