Research

Dog owners have lower mortality, study finds

Dog owners have lower mortality, study finds”

"It's not so easy to combine dogs with an active work life and they aren't always allowed in places, so the study could help us to understand that dogs are really important for their owners, and for example be more understanding if someone's dog passes away".

But Fall says their research does not show how dogs protect their owners from cardiovascular disease and other causes of death.

They found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease than people who did not report owning a dog, as well as a lower risk of death from other causes. Risk of death among these dog owners fell by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death were 15% lower.

Single people may be able to cut their risk of dying from heart disease relative to their married friends if they get a golden retriever, a new, 12-year study of millions of Swedish people has found.

A single dog owner is likely the only person who regularly walks and interacts with her pet, which could contribute to these individuals' reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to the study. So, is owning a dog connected to better health?

The decrease was strongest in people who lived alone.

The study can not explain how dogs have a health-boosting impact, but the company alone may reduce stress and motivate people to live healthier lifestyles.

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Although these large-scale studies based on massive data sets like the national registries in Sweden are an interesting and helpful way of finding associations, it doesn't provide specific answers about how having a dog improves heart health.

"Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner".

Senior author Professor Tove Fall, said: 'We know dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results'.

"Thanks to the population-based design, our results are generalizable to the Swedish population, and probably also to other European populations with similar culture regarding dog ownership".

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.

While Bond may not prescribe a dog as treatment for a patient, she said that she will not discourage owning or buying one, or expressing the benefits of owning one.

Dog owners were more likely to be younger than non-owners, Fall and colleagues wrote, and were more likely to live in rural areas.



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