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Adopting a dog may help single people extend lifespan

21 November 2017

Man's best friend could also be man's best health secret.

In the name of health, researchers have discovered that owning a dog has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

The study looked at over 3.4 million Swedish individuals between the ages of 40 and 80 sampled from a national database and the Swedish Twin Register over a 12-year study period.

According to The Verge, a recent study in Sweden revealed that "dog owners had a 20 percent lower risk of dying compared to people who didn't have a dog".

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"Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner", she said in a university news release.

"I do agree that owning pets could help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease", agrees Dr Valerie Kwai Ben, a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center. Scientists tracked the correlation between people, cardiovascular disease and whether they had a dog or not.

'Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.

Mental health has previously been shown to have a link to heart health, and previous studies have shown a link between loneliness and poor heart health.

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'Dogs may be beneficial in reducing cardiovascular risk by providing a non-human form of social support and increasing physical activity. For people who live solo, owning a dog can cut their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, the study suggests.

"We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation..."

The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but its lead researcher said there are many reasons having a pooch might do a body good.

Bond commented that owners of hunting breeds may be getting more exercise because these dogs are more active as opposed to small dogs who do not require as much exercise. And if you do have a dog, well done, now get another.

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Adopting a dog may help single people extend lifespan