Study: Dog owners less likely to suffer heart-related death

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Dogs really are man's best friend - owning one could save your life.

A new Swedish study published in Scientific Reports finds that that dog owners who lived alone were 36 percent less likely to suffer a cardiovascular-related death. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11 percent lower.

The research found dog owners in multi-person households saw a 15 percent decrease in deaths related to cardiovascular problems.

The research found dog owners in multi-person households saw a 15 percent decrease in deaths related to cardiovascular problems.

"This was a unique situation because they followed people out 12 years," Dr. Brian Strizik of Northwell Syosset Hospital says. "This wasn't, I bought a dog yesterday and I'm not having a heart attack tomorrow."

The study also found dog owners had better immune system development, which could possibly be related to germs and dirt brought into the home, which could increase the body's ability to fight bacteria and a higher level of physical activity. 

The study also found that dog owners were more socially active.

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