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Adopting a dog may help single people extend lifespan
21 November 2017, 01:09 | Rex Hubbard
Study: Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier
Moreover, hunting breeds lowered their owners' cardiovascular disease risk the most. The researchers used data from almost 3.5 million Swedish people between the ages of 40 and 80 to compile their findings.
Dog ownership also significantly helped people who lived alone, a group known to have a higher risk of of cardiovascular disease and death than those living with others. This was to exclude younger individuals who would naturally be at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease anyway, as well as the elderly who are less likely to own a dog. Prior research has shown that living alone raises the risk for heart disease.
For future exploration, Dr. Fall and her team plan to follow up with studies on the effect of dog ownership on hypertension as well as the acute cardiovascular risk after losing a pet to acute disease.
Dogs could alleviate social isolation, depression and loneliness, the study said. At the beginning of the study, none of them had been diagnosed with heart disease.
"Other explanations include an increased wellbeing and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner". Single dog owners showed a 33% decrease in risk of death compared to single people who did not own a dog, said a statement by lead junior author of the study Mwenya Mubanga, a Ph.D. student at Uppsala University. According to the researchers, to own a dog can be helpful for the physical activities and mostly active people use to choose owning a dog. Researchers believe that their findings from the research would probably be applicable to many European countries having same attitude to own a dog.
"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, an associate professor in epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden. But the authors of the study attempted to clarify the reasons further.
It's because they're the best god damn pets in the world.
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