Parenthood Can Help You Live Longer In Older Age, Research Suggests

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Parenthood could boost your chances of living longer in your later years, according researchers who believe the effect could be down to children helping with care and support. While previous research has shown that adults with children live longer than those without, the new study unpicks how the effect plays out in older age. Modig and colleagues used national registry data to follow almost 1.5 million Swedes born between 1911 and 1925 as they aged. The team found that while the risk of death increased with age for all adults, having children was linked to greater longevity. The results are published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. At the age of 60, men who had children had almost two years more on their remaining life expectancy than those without, at 20.2 and 18.4 years respectively. A similar trend was seen for women aged 60, with life expectancies of 23.1 years for those without children and 24.6 years for mothers. By contrast at the age of 80, parents had a life expectancy of 7.7 years for men and 9.5 years for women, compared to 7 years for men without children and 8.9 years for women without children. The findings reveal that the benefits of having children became more pronounced with age — an effect that was greater for men than women. Furthermore, the team found that having children had a stronger impact on the longevity of men who were not married than those with a spouse.

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