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Owning a dog can increase people’s health, scientists found

Owning a dog is good for our health, researchers say. A study based on more than 3.8 million participants published this week by the American Heart Association proved that dog owners have a longer life.

Using data from the Swedish National Patient Register, the Swedish Kennel Club and the Swedish Board of Agriculture dog registers, researchers studied residents aged 40-85 who experienced a heart attack or stroke. They had a 31 percent decrease in deaths due to heart attack or stroke compared to dog non-owners. The explication is possibly linked to the increase  in physical activity. Dog owners may also tend to live healthier lifestyles by drinking and smoking less. Lower blood pressure levels and better cholesterol profile were reported.

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“The findings that people who owned dogs lived longer and their risk for cardiovascular death was also lower are somewhat expected,” said Caroline Kramer, M.D. Ph.D., and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, in a statement. ”Our analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause,” she added. ccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  studies show dogs decrease stress and promote relaxation and impact nearly all stages of our lives.

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