“Man’s best friend” could not only be good company, but also could make you live longer. A new study reveals that dog ownership could reduce the risk of mortality by 33 percent.
The findings of the study were published in Scientific Reports. The study was led by Mwenya Mubanga, a Ph.D. student at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, and other colleagues, according to Medical Xpress.
In the study, the scientists have examined national registries of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 and compared them to dog ownership registries from 2001 to 2012. The results showed that there was a reduction in risk of death due to cardiovascular disease or to other causes in dog owners.
The researchers also discovered that active people are the ones who choose to own dogs. They further said that dog ownership could protect people from cardiovascular disease. Meanwhile, those who are living alone could have a higher risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.
Mubanga said that they found that dog ownership was prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, who are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease and death compared to those living in a multi-person household. She thought that probably a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.
Mubanga also said that the results showed that single dog owners had a 33 percent reduction in risk of death and 11 percent reduction in risk of heart attack compared to single non-owners. She further said that another interesting finding was that owners of dogs from breed groups originally bred for hunting like retrievers, terriers, and scent hounds were most protected and were linked with the reduction of risk of cardiovascular disease, according to BBC News.
Dr. Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation said that dog ownership has many benefits and they may now be able to count better heart health as one of them. On the other hand, as many dog owners may agree, the main reason for owning a dog is the sheer joy they bring. He also advised keeping active to enhance your heart health whether you are a dog owner or not.
[Featured Image by HASLOO/Thinkstock]