12-Year Study Of 3 Million People Finds That Having A Dog Adds Years To Your Life.

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BozetteZonkeyBallsRooster

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Dog people have just won a solid point in the "dog vs cat" debate. A new study recently published in Scientific Reports suggests that owning a dog will add years to your life. A team of Swedish scientists at Uppsala University tracked the health and dog ownership status of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 years old for 12 years. No one involved had a history of cardiovascular disease. Everyone in Sweden has a unique personal ID number, all hospital visits are recorded, and dog ownership registration is mandatory, which makes it the perfect case study for this type of research. Their study found that dog owners were less at risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and other causes. "A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household. Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households. The results showed that single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11% reduction in risk of myocardial infarction during follow-up compared to single non-owners. Another interesting finding was that owners to dogs from breed groups originally bred for hunting were most protected," says Mwenya Mubanga, lead junior author of the study and PhD student at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University. "We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results," says Tove Fall, senior author of the study and Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University. "Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts."

My cat hated me.

My dog loved me.

Enough said?

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ZonkeyBalls ZonkeyBalls

Tis true! I lost my Hound a year ago yesterday and just don't have the heart to get another one. I sure miss the company though! Dogs are wonderful animals!

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Rooster Rooster

I have to agree...I don't have enough time (I'm not home that much) to properly take care of a dog or cat, but I do have fish.

Health Benefits:

"Contemplation of fish in an aquarium seem to have a significant effect in reducing levels of stress and anxiety. The effects of the presence of an aquarium on patients awaiting electroconvulsive therapy were examined in 2004 study by Purdue. While statistically significant differences in blood pressure and heart rate between the test and control were not found, the patients demonstrated a 12% reduction in self reported pre-treatment anxiety.[2] In a 1985 study of dental patients, both contemplation of an aquarium and hypnosis, used together or alone, produced a significant increase in relaxation in comparison to a control group and a group of patients who contemplated a poster. This study also found that hypnosis did not augment the effects of exposure to an aquarium. Degrees of relaxation were determined by both subjective and objective criteria, and included blood pressure and heart rate.[3] Additional studies confirm that watching fish in an aquarium can be effective in reducing anxiety in patients awaiting dental surgery.[4] Observation of aquaria has also been shown to reduce muscle tension and pulse rate in elderly subjects in comparison to control groups who watched a placebo video tape or a video tape of an aquarium.[5]

Although aquarium owners often report problems with maintaining tank cleanliness and controlling temperature and water balance, they also claim that watching fish has a calming effect and creates a feeling of serenity.[6]
Other Health Benefits

A Purdue study in 2009 examined the effect of aquariums on the nutritional intake of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The study followed 60 patients in three health care facilities. In two facilities patients were exposed to aquaria, and the patients in the third facility were used as a control group and exposed to paintings of seascapes. Patients exposed to the aquaria averaged an increase of 17.2 percent in the amount of food they consumed. Weight also increased significantly, and the patients required fewer nutritional supplements. In addition to the nutritional benefits, there was also a noticeable decrease in physically aggressive behaviors among the patients.[7]

A study carried out by Dr. Mathew White from the University of Exeter's European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) and published in the Journal Environment and Behavior, showed that not only was people's mood boosted, the experiment showed "significant" reductions in individuals' heart rates and blood pressure, the findings also highlighted another potential ecosystem service that humans received from biodiversity[8].

"If you flipped our study on its head, and you were to take fish away and be losing biodiversity, what we show is that the predicted losses in biodiversity over time as a result of climate change and other anthropogenic threats could actually undermine human wellbeing in a way that we have not really thought about.Potentially, the effects could be quite large and could be another effect of climate change etc that we have not really understood to date."

The Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut has a program designed to help children with learning and developmental challenges enhance their social skills. The program uses "touch and learn" sessions with aquatic invertebrates to facilitate relaxation and development of social skills.[9][10]
Feng Shui

In feng shui, moving water is considered beneficial in balancing chi, and a well maintained aquarium in the right location increases wealth and luck.[unreliable source?]"

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