Want To Live Longer? Scientists Say You Should Get A Dog

21 November, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Dog owner

The data in the study was collected from people aged 40 to 80 who had no history of cardiovascular disease in 2001, with the follow-up period lasting 12 years.

The report revealed that the health benefits of having a dog in your life were even more pronounced in people who were single or living alone.

"We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results", said Tove Fall, senior author of the study and Associate Professor in Epidemiology at Uppsala University, in an interview with CNN.

While the differing lifestyles and choices of people that have dogs and those that don't may influence these results, owning a dog has already been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease for quite some time. Prior research has shown that living alone raises the risk for heart disease.

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The researchers can't provide proof dog ownership actually causes a decrease in risk for cardiovascular disease.

That's good news for dog lovers, especially if they fit into the 30 million Americans who found out this week they have hypertension after federal guidelines changed.

"Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households", Mubanga said in the news release.

There could also be a link between dogs reducing psychological stress factors, like social isolation, depression and loneliness. For people who live solo, owning a dog can cut their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, the study suggests.

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While the research was carried out in Sweden, Fall does believe it may also apply to other countries, including the US, since popular breeds and people's attitudes toward dog care are similar.

'Other explanations include an increased wellbeing and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome (gut bacteria) in the owner'.

So basically, dogs are great because they keep you happy and keep you active, which keep your ticker ticking along nicely.

It's because they're the best god damn pets in the world.

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