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Dog Owners Healthier – Especially Their Hearts, Study Finds

Image: Dog Owners Healthier – Especially Their Hearts, Study Finds
Dog owners have healthier hearts, a new study determined. (Bigandt/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 17 November 2017 03:08 PM

Dog owners are healthier and have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular and other causes, according to a new study published Friday by Swedish researchers. 

The study found a lower risk of heart disease for people who own dogs, particularly those who live alone. Single dog owners living alone had a 33 percent reduction in risk of death and an 11 percent reduction in heart attack risk, compared to single non-owners, lead study author Mwenya Mubanga of Uppsala University said, the BBC reported.

Those who live alone have previously been shown to have higher risk of death from cardiovascular issues than those who live in multi-person households.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, followed 3.4 million people between ages 40 and 80 in Sweden over 12 years, between 2001 and 2012. It didn’t study the reasons behind the trend, just the association between dog ownership and mortality.

“Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households,” Mubanga said, the BBC reported. He added that dog owners of breeds that were once bred for hunting offered the most protection.

Senior study author Tove Fall suggested dog owners may be more physically active because of having to walk the dogs, or that dogs could have a positive impact on owners’ emotional or social well-being, ABC News reported

Another theory is that dogs introduce different microbiomes into an owner’s home through their paws and fur than would otherwise be present.

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Dog owners are healthier and have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular and other causes, according to a new study published Friday by Swedish researchers.
dog, owners, healthier, heart, risk, study
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2017-08-17
Friday, 17 November 2017 03:08 PM
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