Science Says Owning a Dog Decreases Your Risk for Heart Attacks

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Scientists only used doggy data from Swedish residents who were aged between 40 - 80 years old on January 1, 2001.

Three adorable beagles are sleeping together. Since dog ownership requires registration in Sweden and since all health care, including all doctor's visits, are charted in a national database, as Time noted, the researchers could follow the lives of people with and without dogs.

The team observed there much slighter risk for cardiovascular disease to the dog owners as compared to other people, because of increased in their wellbeing and social contacts or change in their bacterial microbiome, specifically to hunting breeds.

A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analysed the health records of 3.4 million people in the country, where databases contain detailed information on nearly everyone's hospitalisations, medical history and even whether they own a dog. Fido sure deserves a tummy rub.

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The researchers reported that dog owners who lived alone were 11 percent less likely to die of heart disease and a third less likely to die from any cause, compared with those who lived alone and didn't have a dog.

The research, published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports, claims to be "by far the largest investigation" into the links between dog ownership and health. No other animal is as loving, as friendly and so emotionally intelligent and wired to humans than dogs. But their risk of a heart attack was not reduced by owning a dog.

While the research was carried out in Sweden, Fall does believe it may also apply to other countries, including the USA, since popular breeds and people's attitudes toward dog care are similar. Additionally, in walking their dogs, patients are more likely to adhere to the recommended level of physical activity advised by their physicians.

If you find yourself being lazy but just can't work up the motivation to take a daily walk or jog, a pup might do the trick!

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