Good news! Kids won’t kill you. Or take years off your life. As much as it may feel like they do.
A long, long life has been directly linked to having kids. No word yet on whether that long life is filled with frustration, yelling, and a zero-balance bank account, but still, it’s good news for parents.
According to a March 2017 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, Swedish researchers analyzed national registry data on more than 704,000 men and 725,000 women ages 60 and older.
Taking into account education level, health status, and age, the authors calculated each person's risk of death every year, then compared that with their marital statuses and whether they had children or not.
Due to, well, life, the potential for death rose overall as the participants aged. But in that group, men and women with children were found to have lower risks of earlier death than childless participants.
The study even broke it down into how long life can be extended by: by 60-years-old, women with children (or a child) were expected to live 1.5 years longer than women who didn't have children. Fathers were expected to live two years longer than childless men.
But why? And how?
The researchers determined that grown children helping and providing care for their parents as they age helped their health. Everyone say awww.
“Our finding that the association grew stronger when parents became older is further in agreement with research suggesting that childless people face support deficits only towards the end of life,” the researchers wrote.
So go ahead, have some kids. If you want to live longer. Just be nice to them so they take care of you when you’re older.
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