Having children adds almost two years to life, say scientists – Telegraph.co.uk
Dr Karin Modig, Unit of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, which carried out the study said: “Having children is associated with increased longevity, particularly in an absolute sense in old age.
“Support from adult children to ageing parents may be of importance for parental health and longevity.
“At old age, the stress of parenthood is likely to be lower and instead, parents can benefit from social support from their children.
“In addition, parents have on average more healthful behaviours than childless individuals.”
To find out if parenthood might help stave off death in older age, the researchers, studied the records of nearly 1.5 million people who were born as early as 1911, looking at when they died and whether they had children.
The risk of death rose with increasing age, irrespective of whether the individuals were parents or not.
But after taking account of influential factors, such as educational achievement and deprivation, life expectancy was higher among those who had children.