Parenthood may help you live longer, says research

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Parenthood may help you live longer, says research

Posted on : Tuesday 14th of March 2017

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Parenting, literally, is one of the most challenging tasks for every parent – from changing diapers to meeting their demanding tantrums each day.

Having a child can be tiring today, but take heart if you're a parent yourself. As per a new study, having kids can help increase your lifespan.

A team of Swedish researchers has linked parenthood to a longer life than their peers who are childless, particularly in old age.

For the study, researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, tracked the lifespan of men and women born between 1911 and 1925 and living in Sweden - more than 1.4 million people in total. They also gathered data on whether the participants were married and had children.

“By the age of 60, the difference in life expectancy may be as much as two years” between people with, and those without, children, they said.

Men and women with at least one child had “lower death risks” than childless ones, the team concluded.

The study also found that fathers gained more in life expectancy than mothers.

Sixty-year-old men with children were expected to live for another 20.2 years on average, whereas those without children were expected to live for an additional 18.4 years – an almost two-year difference.

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.

By the age of 80, men who fathered children could live a further 7.7 years in compared to seven years for childless men.

For women aged 80 with children, they could expect a further 9.5 years, while those without could live a further 8.9 years.

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

Their findings have been published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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