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Ownership of hunting breed dogs was associated with lowest risk of CVD.
Further analysis in the Twin Register could not replicate the reduced risk of CVD or death but also gave no indication of confounding by disability, comorbidities or lifestyle factors.
Any occurrence of these diagnoses was additionally considered as a composite CVD outcome.
We aimed to investigate the association of dog ownership with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death in a register-based prospective nation-wide cohort (n = 3,432,153) with up to 12 years of follow-up.
In addition, the Swedish Kennel Club has registered all dogs with a certified pedigree with complete information on owner’s personal identity number since 2001.
Dog ownership was defined as periods registered or having a partner registered as a dog owner in either of the two dog registers (Supplementary Figure 2).
In the twin register only the composite CVD outcome and all-cause mortality were assessed.
Theoretical structured ordering of factors was undertaken by use of directed acyclic graphs to identify potential confounders (Supplementary Figure 3).