In this register-based nationwide prospective study including 3+ million individuals, dog ownership was associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in single-person households and with lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in the general population. Ownership of hunting dog breeds was associated with a decreased risk of CVD, and ownership of all purebred breeds were associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality. Although further investigation in the Twin Cohort did not show any association between dog ownership and CVD and mortality likely due to the smaller sample size, additional adjustment for detailed lifestyle and socioeconomic factors only marginally altered these estimates (The Finnish Twin Cohort was first established in 1974 to investigate genetic and environmental risk factors for chronic disorders).
In conclusion, in a nationwide population based study with 12 years of follow-up, we show that dog ownership is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in single households and with a reduced risk of cardiovascular and all-cause death in the general population.
Celebrate your furry friend with a walk. You both will be happier you did.
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