Growing up with dogs linked to reduced risk of schizophrenia in adulthood


New Delhi |

Published: December 26, 2019 4:30:15 pm


dogs, benefits of growing up with dogs, dogs schizophrenia, benefits of keeping dogs, indian express, indian express news Well, if you needed another reason to keep dogs as pets, you have it right here. (File Photo)

The idea of a pet dog has many takers, and now a report in The New York Times has a health benefit linked to it. According to the report, living with a dog can be associated with a reduced risk of schizophrenia in adulthood. The researchers examined patients at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore. Among those studied, 396 suffered schizophrenia and 381 had bipolar disorder. They were then compared with 594 healthy controls.

They were asked if while growing up they had a dog or a cat, and if they did, what was the first and the most time they were in contact with an animal. As per the findings, published in PLOS One, more than half of the subjects had dogs as pets, while about a third had cats before their 13th birthdays. After keeping in mind other factors, it was deduced that those who grew up in proximity to dogs during childhood were 55 per cent less likely to have schizophrenia compared to those who had not been exposed at all. However, nothing similar could be deduced for those suffering from bipolar.

“We don’t know the mechanism,” Dr Robert H. Yolken, a professor of paediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore shared. “One possibility is that having a dog in the house causes a different microbiome and changes the likelihood of developing a psychiatric disorder,” he concluded.

Well, if you needed another reason to keep dogs as pets, you have it right here.

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