Dogs are by far the most popular pet in America. However, they may have more advantages than just companionship and cute furry faces.
According to a recent study, these canines may also reduce the risk of dying prematurely by up to a third.
After analyzing over three million adults, the results showed that dog owners – especially those who live alone – have a lower risk of mortality (from all causes, as well as cardiovascular disease) over the course of a 12-year span, in comparison to those who do not have dogs.
Possible causes for these findings include: stress
reduction, better sleep
quality (when dogs are in the bedroom), and increase in exercise
Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden were conducting the study.
According to Medical News Today:
“For their study, lead junior author Mwenya Mubanga — of the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory at Uppsala University — gathered health, mortality, and dog ownership data for 3,432,153 individuals who were living in Sweden.
Information was taken from a total of seven national data sources, including the Swedish National Patient Register, the Cause of Death Register, the Swedish Twin Register, and the Swedish Kennel Club.
All individuals were free of cardiovascular disease when the data began being collected in 2001, and they were followed-up for an average of 12 years.”
In single-person households, dog ownership was tied to a 36 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death, while dog ownership in multi-person households was linked to a 15 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular death.
Although the researchers are still seeking conclusive evidence to various aspects of their study, they are confident that these results may be generalizable to the entire Swedish population, as well as other populations with similar cultures when it comes to dog ownership.