Friday, 15 December, 2017

Dog-owners live longer, say Swedish scientists

33 pc reduction? Your dog is protecting you from this disease Dog-owners live longer, say Swedish scientists
Garry Little | 18 November, 2017, 00:24

The researchers stressed that while these types of studies show a relationship between the environmental factor and diseases in a large population, they do not provide answers to if and how dogs actually protect from heart disease and premature death.

The results? Dog owners - especially dog owners who lived alone - had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The scientists followed 3.4 million people over the course of 12 years and found that adults who live alone and owned a dog were 33 percent less likely to die during the study than adults who lived alone without dogs.

But it's also possible-and very likely, says senior author Tove Fall, a veterinarian and associate professor of epidemiology-that taking care of a dog prompts people to stay active and live a healthier lifestyle.

"Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner", she said in a university news release.

Owning a dog could lengthen your life, according to a new study.

The study authors were also surprised to find that people who owned dogs that were originally bred for hunting-like terriers, retrievers and scent hounds-were the most protected from heart disease and death. "As a pet owner, I also notice that the people I meet during walks are often other dog owners, especially in bad weather". "In warmer climates, they could keep them in the yard and won't have to actively take them for a walk", said Fall.

33 pc reduction? Your dog is protecting you from this disease
Dogs May Melt Your Heart, but They Also Make It Healthier

Dr Mubanga said: "Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households".

The dog is the most popular pet in the United Kingdom, with 24 percent of people owning one.

"However, as many dog owners may agree, the main reason for owning a dog is the sheer joy". Their chances of cardiovascular death fell by 15 percent. Their risk of heart attack was not reduced.

A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analyzed the health records of 3.4 million people in that northern European country, where databases contain detailed information on most everyone's hospitalizations, medical history and even whether they own a dog.

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

People who buy hunting dogs may be more physically active in the first place, because the dogs require so much exercise.

As if puppy kisses weren't enough reason to adopt a dog, Swedish research links dog ownership to living longer.

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