BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A recent study which analyzed 3.4 million Swedish civilians has found that people that have dogs present a lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease and other issues when compared with that of people without a canine pet.
How Was the Link Between a Dog and a Healthy Heart
The research team behind the study analyzed national registries for people between the ages of 40 and 80. Then, it compared them to canine ownership registries. Results showed a lower risk of cardiovascular issues and other related problems, especially in owners of dogs bred for hunting.
In addition to promoting health via physical activity, having a dog also helps on social and microscopic levels, claim the researchers. The study concludes that owning a canine pet may prevent cardiovascular disease and other heart conditions by increasing the dog owner’s social contact and well-being. It could also do so by transforming the human bacterial microbiome, or the unseen bacterial environment carried by every human being. Dogs can carry certain bacteria that would not have been encountered by a person without otherwise owning a dog.
According to the recent study, canine pets are especially beneficial as a preventative measure for people living alone. Humans who live alone were previously proven to present higher risks of cardiovascular-related problems, possibly even death.
The lead author of the study, Mwenya Mubanga from Uppsala University, stated, “The results showed that single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11% reduction in risk of heart attack.”
Dr. Mubanga went on, “perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.”
While the differing lifestyles and choices of people that have dogs and those that don’t may influence these results, owning a dog has already been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease for quite some time. Other studies have exhibited a connection but weren’t entirely conclusive. Nonetheless, a healthy heart appears to be another one of the many benefits of owning a furry companion.
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