Your Dog is Helping You Live Longer

21 November, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Leticia Riley
  • BODY & SOULNovember 20 2017 5:00pm The Times Dr Mark Porter Is owning a dog really that good for your health?newDr Mark Porter

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

People who owned dogs from hunting breeds like retrievers and beagles had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease - probably because they spend half their lives chasing after their beloved hounds.

According to the recent study, canine pets are especially beneficial as a preventative measure for people living alone.

A new study has now shown that there could be a link between dog ownership and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.

In particular, it was found that people who owned hunting style dogs had an even lower risk of heart disease.

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"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. People who love cats might love to disagree but the fact is that a dog's love is selfless compared to anyone else's.

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

In an interview with MedicalResearch.com, Dr. Fall, who is associate senior lecturer of epidemiology in the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory at Uppsala University in Sweden, noted that "loneliness and sedentary lifestyle are two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and mortality, but are notoriously hard to prevent in the general population". Single dog owners were 33% less likely to die during the follow-up period of the study, and 11% less likely to suffer a heart attack, than single non-owners. All were free of heart disease at the beginning of the study. "We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation [for] the observed results". Dog owners also tend to spend more time outdoors and get more physical activity.

'Dog ownership has been reported to be associated with alleviation of social isolation and improved perception of wellbeing, particularly in single persons and the elderly'.

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. And if you do have a dog, well done, now get another.

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