Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

Tove Fall, senior author of the study and Associate Professor in Epidemiology at Uppsala University, noted that while the study found associations between dog ownership and health, it did not provide answers as to how dogs could protect humans from cardiovascular disease.

Scientists only used doggy data from Swedish residents who were aged between 40 - 80 years old on January 1, 2001.

The researchers reported that dog owners who lived alone were 11 percent less likely to die of heart disease and a third less likely to die from any cause, compared with those who lived alone and didn't have a dog.

Three million Swedes can't be wrong - dogs lower your heart disease risk.

"I do agree that owning pets could help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease", agrees Dr Valerie Kwai Ben, a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center.

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Here's to keeping your health on a tight leash: New research suggests that having a dog might boost a single person's life span. In particular, they found having a dog "improved perception of wellbeing" and lessened social isolation for single people and the elderly.

Mental health has previously been shown to have a link to heart health, and previous studies have shown a link between loneliness and poor heart health.

While researchers say there's still more to investigate, benefits are thought to also come in part from increased immunity thanks to dogs bringing dirt into the home from outdoors. When compared with single individuals without a dog, single dog owners experienced a 33% decreased risk of death. The study concludes that owning a canine pet may prevent cardiovascular disease and other heart conditions by increasing the dog owner's social contact and well-being.

"We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results". There is some inherent quality that a dog has that tears at your heart when it looks at you with puppy eyes and the wagging tail.

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