According to a Study, Children Extend Life Expectancy
Research by scientists at the Karolinska Institute studied the life expectancy of 1.4 million Swedes and they found out that having children lengthens the number of years you can live, especially in the case of men.
The specialists studied 704,481 men and 725,290 women aged 60 and over. The people studied were born between 1911 and 1925. Among the data collected was marital status, number of children and gender.
After analyzing the results of their investigation, they concluded that paternity reduces the risk of death when compared to people who didn’t have any children.
As a result, people around the age of 60 have a life expectancy of almost two years longer than those who never had children.
According to the study that was published in the Epidemiology and Community Health journal, the life expectancy of mothers is 24.6 more years at 60, compared to 20.2 years for fathers. For women without children, it’s 23.1 and for men, 18.4.
At the age of 80, fathers have a life expectancy of 7.7 years (compared to 7 years for those who don’t have children). When it comes to mothers, the life expectancy over 80 is 9.5 years. This is compared to 8.9 for those who don’t have children.
You live a healthier life when you have children
People who have children usually adopt healthier habits than when they were single. That’s one of the reasons why having children helps you live longer.
A study also showed that men who live in a family live much longer compared to those who don’t. According to the researchers: “This is probably because married men have to support and care for their spouse; while those who are single or widowers are more dependent on their children.”
The study was observational, in other words no conclusion can be drawn about the cause and effect of these connections.
For the researchers, “the results suggest that the connection is stronger when the parents get older.” This is in line with other research that suggests that people without children face more shortcomings in support towards the ends of their lives.
A happy family is but an early paradise
Raising children increases your lifespan
While studying factors such as education levels, the scientists found that the risk of death was lower in people who had at least one child.
Surprisingly, being a mother didn’t make such a big difference in respect to those who didn’t have children.
However, an important difference can be detected between men who were parents compared to those who were not.
According to Modig, “We don’t know exactly why this situation occurs. It may be because the men were more secure than women when they got married, perhaps because women tended to be younger than the men in the generation studied. Another factor could be that single women tend to have a higher education than married women. In the case of men, the opposite is true.”
Longevity and family are intertwined
Maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active and exercising moderately are recommended by doctors to maintain a healthy and long life.
Furthermore, contrary to what we believe, children don’t wear out our lives, they lengthen them.
Five of the six oldest people in the world had children and lived in a large family. Currently life expectancy on average is 68 years for men and 72 years for women. This average is increasing as science advances and our quality of life improves.
It has also been discovered that having children slows down the biological aging process in women.
According to Canadian researchers from the Simon Fraser University of Burnaby, estrogen, a hormone which is produced in large amounts during pregnancy, helps to slow down aging.
This reaffirms the results of the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The journal’s study was conducted on 21,256 Danish couples.
The research also concluded that having children is synonymous with greater longevity. The mortality rate is between two and four times higher in people who have not had children.