IF YOU HAVE A DOG
For obvious reasons, I most often read news in the field of ophthalmology, but at the same time (when I have time), I mull over other news in anticipation of breakthroughs.
This dog news is not a breakthrough because many people know it intuitively. A study in Sweden showed that dog owners are less likely to die from heart disease, with a difference of 23%.
Proving this thesis isn’t so easy, because the skeptic will simply say that healthier people more often own dogs. And in part, they’re right, if they’re large dogs, because you don’t so much walk them as scamper about the street.
However, these Swedes, who conducted research on almost 3.5 million people between the ages of 40 and 80, believe that the presence of a dog reduces the risk of death of any cause by 20% – at least during the 12 years that the data was collected.
If they’re right, then dogs extend the lives of their owners
There was another study that showed how dogs alleviate feelings of isolation and reduce levels of depression, which are things that themselves increase the risk of premature death. But it’s obvious that dog owners are forced to communicate with each other, since their dogs communicate.
And then another study reveals that dogs owners are more relaxed in responding to stress. Blood pressure and pulse in dogs owners doesn’t jump, they have better cholesterol, and are physically more active. The dog walks its master!
It’s hard to scientifically prove that owning a dog is better than owning a fish, or that dog owners would have died earlier had they not owned a dog.
But let’s not quibble. If you can’t get a real dog, at least get an imaginary one, preferably very active, and remember that you need to walk it twice a day at a brisk pace and sometimes communicate with your colleagues (i.e., owners of real dogs).
But what a dog can’t do (even an imaginary one) is improve your vision.