Science

People who own dogs may live longer

People who own dogs may live longer

- Owning a dog slashes the risk of suffering a premature death by a third, new research reveals, according to The Daily Mail.

The team from Uppsala University in Sweden analysed data from 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 by combing through a national database of hospital visit records and dog ownership registrations.

Bond commented that owners of hunting breeds may be getting more exercise because these dogs are more active as opposed to small dogs who do not require as much exercise.

Researchers in Sweden tracked more than 3.4 million Swedish people with no heart disease over a period of 12 years.

As a single dog owner, an individual is the sole person walking and interacting with their pet as opposed to married couples or households with children, which may contribute to greater protection from cardiovascular disease and death, said the study.

Wolf-Klein believes that whatever the reasons behind the health benefit shown in the study, adopting a furry companion from a nearby shelter might be just what the doctor ordered.

She added: "There might also be very important effects of social support you get, from your dog and meeting people through your dog".

"Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households", Mubanga said in the news release. People who lived alone with a dog had a 33% reduced risk of death, and an 11% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, than people who lived alone without a dog.




"The responsibilities associated with dog ownership impose mandatory daily exercise - a schedule which can not be impacted by adverse weather conditions, personal commitments or mood swings", Wolf-Klein said.

Although the new findings don't explain whether and how dogs could protect humans from cardiovascular disease, dog owners tend to have a higher level of physical activity, an increased level of well-being and more social contacts, the study said.

But as it was an observational study it does not prove dogs prevent cardiovascular disease or how it may happen.

"We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results", Fall said.

Owners of hunting breeds, including terriers, retrievers, and scent hounds, were most protected from cardiovascular disease and death.

Having a dog can bring a lot of love into your life.

"Thanks to the population-based design, our results are generalisable to the Swedish population, and probably also to other European populations with similar culture regarding dog ownership". "As a pet owner, I also notice that the people I meet during walks are often other dog owners, especially in bad weather".

"Previous studies have shown this association but have not been as conclusive - largely due to the population size studied here".


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