Research

Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

So, it turns out that dogs are truly man's best friend!

Dog owners have a low risk of developing cardiovascular diseases that further enables them to reduce the risk of mortality, a new research confirmed.

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. And in 2013, the American Heart Association released a scientific statement to that same effect.

Researchers studying cardiovascular disease came to the conclusion after examining data from 3.4 million Swedes aged between 40 and 80.

A healthy lifestyle could help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, the NHS added.

The data were collected from Sweden's Register of the Total Population, which contains information on birth, migration, changes of citizenship, family and marital status, and death for all Swedish citizens and residents ages 18 and over.

All of their hospital visits were recorded over a 12-year period, and compared to whether they owned a dog, or not.

Dog owners have a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to a comprehensive new study published by a team of Swedish researchers. "Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households", Mwenya added.

Dog owners would also have an increased well-being and social contacts.

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The study-with a sample size hundreds of times larger than any other studies on this topic-was not created to show a cause-and-effect relationship between dog ownership and reduced risk of death or cardiovascular disease, or to determine why these factors may be related.

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.

Because these dogs typically need more exercise than other breeds, their owners may be more likely to meet physical activity guidelines, they say.

Senior author of the study, Tove Fall, elaborated on this, saying: "There might also 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".

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

"I think it would be hard to take the data from Sweden and apply it to the United States since we have a more diverse population". In the study, Fall analysed the effects of different breeds and found that owners of dogs originally bred for hunting, such as terriers, retrievers, and scent hounds, had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease.

And while their findings are Sweden-specific, they believe they probably apply to other European countries with a similar attitude to dog ownership.

"I met another scientist who had a stroke six months previously, and he told me "it was my dog that saved me", said Professor Tove Fall, a veterinarian at who co-authored the research, which was published in the Scientific Reports journal.