New Study: Dog Ownership Associated With Lower Mortality Rates
A new study from Sweden, that observed at 3.4 million people, showed dog owners have a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The study looked at the dog registries for people 40-80 years old and compared them to non-dog owners of the same age. The difference was HUGE! In addition, the sample size is so much larger than former studies, that we are confident the findings mean something big for the dog-lover community.
Arguably, while owning a dog may lead to more physical activity, active people are more likely to choose to own dogs. Either way, the difference is clear!
Microbiome is (defined by Merriam-Webster) as a community of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that inhabit a particular environment, especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body.
It’s thought that a dog can introduce his owner’s body to bacteria that would not otherwise be around, thus changing his owner’s microbiomes for the better.
The study’s researchers also add that dogs encourage protection in owners who live alone. “The results showed that single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11% reduction in risk of heart attack,” compared to single non-owners, said lead study-author Mwenya Mubanga of Uppsala University.
Non-dog owners, who also live alone, are at a higher risk of cardiovascular death. Dr. Mubanga said: “Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.”
For the study, published in Scientific Reports, the researchers looked at data from 2001 to 2012. Every stay in the hospital in Sweden is recorded into a national database, as well as dog ownership registration which has been a mandatory law since 2001.
The study shows that owning a dog from breeds that were originally bred for hunting like retrievers, terriers, and scent hounds showed the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation said: “Owning a dog is associated with reduced mortality and risk of having heart disease. Previous studies have shown this association but have not been as conclusive – largely due to the population size studied here.
“Dog ownership has many benefits, and we may now be able to count better heart health as one of them.
“However, as many dog owners may agree, the main reason for owning a dog is the sheer joy.
“Whether you’re a dog owner or not, keeping active is a great way to help improve your heart health.”
Dogs can make you healthier and happier. It’s a win/win. Go adopt a dog today!