Could being a parent help you live longer?

15 March, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • Men and women with at least one child had

A separate study found single people not only had a five percent higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease compared to married people but married people also lived longer.

While it is not clear why having children is linked to a longer life, the researchers suggest it might be down to children helping to look after their ageing parents, be it through physical care, emotional support or even arguing for better treatment.

"At 60 years of age, the difference in life expectancy was two years for men and 1.5 years for women", said the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. Men who were not married but had children were also living longer than those with a spouse.

"Support from adult children to aging parents may be of importance for parental health and longevity", researchers say in the report.

As per a new study, having kids can help increase your lifespan.

Age specific risks of death were calculated and compared for each calendar year for people who had had at least one child and for those who were childless.

When influencing factors such as education were taken into account, the difference in death risk did increase with age between parents and non-parents.

At the age of 80, men with children could expect to live a further 7.7 years, while those without live, on average, seven years.

Individuals were more likely to live longer if they had at least one child.

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However, Modig does conclude that having a child does not have the biggest impact on death risk in light of other things, but the seemingly small difference is quite significant.

In contrast, people who do not have children struggle more for the kind of social support offered by having them.

They analysed data on 704,481 men and 725,290 women, looking at marital status and the number and sex of any children they had.

Women aged 60 with children could expect to live a further 24.6 years, whereas those without could expect another 23.1 years - a difference of 1.5 years.

The researchers also found that the association between having children and a longer lifespan grew with age, with men seeing the largest life expectancy increase as a result of parenthood.

The gap became bigger with increasing age, again more so for men than for women.

Unmarried men might be relying more heavily on their children in the absence of a partner, suggest the researchers, by way of a possible explanation.

The study merely pointed out a correlation, and can not conclude that having children is the cause of the life expectancy gains, the researchers admitted.

But while many imagine it is daughters who dote on their parents in their twilight years, the study suggested the sex of children did not play a role.


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