Fido can Make You Live Longer

According to the recent article published on TIME.com, there is another reason for people to snuggle their dog. A new survey of roughly 3.4 million individuals owning a dog is associated with a longer life. The study, published in Scientific Reports (an online open access scientific mega-journal), is the latest in an ongoing growing body of research indicating that canine companions might be good for the health of humans, especially for individuals who stay alone.

To study the connection between canines and longevity, researchers at the Sweden-based Uppsala University analyzed the national registry records of Swedish women and men aged between 40 and 80 years. The researchers focused on 3.4 million individuals who didn’t have a history of CVD (cardiovascular disease) in the year 2001, and they followed their health records, and whether they had registered owning a dog for around twelve years.

The registries of dog ownership are mandatory in the Kingdom of Sweden, and all visits to hospitals are recorded in a national database. The researchers discovered that individuals who owned canines had a lower risk of dying due to CVD than individuals who didn’t report owning a dog, and also had a lower risk of dying from other causes. That study was accurate, even after adjusting for factors like socioeconomic status, body mass index, as well as smoking.

The protective effect was particularly prominent for individuals living alone, who’ve been seen to have a higher risk of early death when compared to those who are living with other people. People living alone with a canine had a 33 percent reduced risk of death, as well as an 11 percent reduced risk of CVD than individuals living alone without a dog.

The research, which had a sample size that was larger than any research on this topic, wasn’t meant to reveal a cause-and-effect relationship between owning a dog and cardiovascular disease or risk of death or to find out why those factors might be related. The authors said that it was possible that individuals who choose to be dog owners may just be more active as well as in better health at first.

Senior author, Tove Fall, who is a veterinarian, as well as an associate professor of epidemiology, said that it is also possible and likely that taking care of a Fido helps people to stay active plus live a healthier lifestyle. He continued saying that he has met many owners that believe that their pets have been instrumental in them: regarding social support. As a dog owner, especially in bad weather, he noticed that the people he met during walks were usually other dog owners.

About Erica Smith 189 Articles

With several years in the medical field—both as a practitioner and an administrator—Erica has a unique perspective on the health industries. From medical technology to cancer research, she covers our health industry.

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