Studies have previously been done at Uppsala University from the same research group that was conducted in 2017 that have shown that people who have dogs in Sweden are feeling better.

In the latest study, the researchers used information from the Swedish Patient Register together with the Swedish National Board of Agriculture's dog owner register and the Swedish Kennel Club's register to find out if dog ownership played any role in the survival of people who had a heart attack or stroke.

Information on all patients between the ages of 40 and 85 who had a stroke or heart attack between 2001 and 2012 was included in the material.

Dog owners are less likely to die

Based on the information gathered, the researchers could see that dog ownership was associated with better survival in both patient groups. The group most strongly affected were single heart attack patients. There, dog owners were 33 percent less likely to die than single patients who did not have a dog.

- We know that social isolation and loneliness are a strong risk factor for poorer health and previous death. Previous studies have shown that dog owners experience less social isolation and have more interaction with other people. Having a dog is also a good motivation for physical activity, an important factor in rehabilitation and well-being, says Tove Fall, veterinarian and professor of molecular epidemiology at the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University, who led the study in a press release.