Your Dog May Keep Your Heart in Good Shape into Old Age

Kristen Gonzales
November 21, 2017

"The findings of the largest-ever investigation of the association between dog-ownership and human health should encourage all of us to add a four-legged friend in our family circle", she said.

Experts base their conclusions on research, consisting of interviews and a health study of 3.4 million people aged 40 to 80 years residing in Sweden.

A new study conducted by Swedish researchers found dog owners had a lower risk of early death overall than those who didn't own a pet.

The new research found a statistically significant link between owning a dog and lower heart disease risk.

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A massive scientific study shows having a dog could mean you have a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, the world's leading cause of death. But owning any kind of dog still provides some protection against these risk factors.

For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Scientists tracked the correlation between people, cardiovascular disease and whether they had a dog or not.

'Dogs may be beneficial in reducing cardiovascular risk by providing a non-human form of social support and increasing physical activity. "Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts, or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner". Researchers believe that their findings from the research would probably be applicable to many European countries having same attitude to own a dog.

"There might 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". "We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation [for] the observed results".

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