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Home Industry News Dog ownership linked to lower mortality rates by new research

Dog ownership linked to lower mortality rates by new research

21st November 2017

People who own dogs are generally more likely to live longer and healthier lives, according to a new study.

The Uppsala University analysed data from 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 to study the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health, finding that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease or other causes over a 12-year period.

Dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in people living alone, a group traditionally seen as being at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living with others.

Single dog owners had a 33 percent reduction in the risk of death and an 11 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease during follow-up compared to single non-owners, while owners of dogs originally bred for hunting generally saw a greater benefit.

This could be because dog owners generally have a higher level of physical activity, while an increased sense of wellbeing or effects of the dog's presence on the owner's bacterial microbiome could also be having an effect.

Study author Tove Fall, associate professor in epidemiology at the department of medical sciences at Uppsala University, said: "Thanks to the population-based design, our results are generalisable to the Swedish population, and probably also to other European populations with similar culture regarding dog ownership."

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