Children help you live longer, says study

Children help you live longer, says study

Children help you live longer, says study

Apparently not so, at least according to a recent study which indicates parents live longer than those people who did not have any offspring.

For the goal of the study, Karin Modig, the head researcher, and her team of scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reviewed the health records of over 700,000 men and women who were born between 1911 and 1925. For instance, childless men aged 90 had a death risk of 17.7 percent, compared to 16.2 percent for men of the same age with children.

The researchers determined that grown children helping and providing care for their parents as they age helped their health. The head researchers suggested that healthier behavior might be a possible explanation.

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.

Both married and non-married couples benefited from having children, though unmarried people - particularly men - seemed to enjoy a stronger benefit, the research showed.

A new study performed by Swedish researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm found that parents live longer than people without children. The difference decreased as age increased, meaning that by 80-years-old, dads were only expected to live about 8 months longer and moms about seven months longer than non-parents.

The life expectancy difference continued as the study group grew older. Fathers were expected to live two years longer than childless men.

The remaining life expectancy, in years, of 60-year-old men with children, compared with 18.4 for those who do not have children.

The difference in the one-year risk of death at age 60 for men was 0.06 per cent and 0.16 per cent among women. "Perhaps being the only child is related to a greater responsibility of parents, reducing the difference in the amount of help given by sons and daughters", they write.

Of course parenthood isn't the only thing boosting longevity.

Not unexpectedly, the risk of death rose with increasing age, irrespective of whether the individuals were parents or not. It included close to 705,000 men and over 725,000 women.

Dr. Modig declared that the results were consistent, regardless of the child's gender.

Still thinking those long sleepless nights, and added anguish over the future of your children will make you age faster? "If you are exposed to a family, that will maintain you emotionally or physically".

The study was published on March 13, in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Biological factors involved in having children may also play a role.

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