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Want to live longer? Have children. If you don't die early from child-rearing stress, parenthood will boost your longevity chances, according to a new study out of
Researchers at the
"Support from adult children to aging parents may be of importance for parental health and longevity," researchers write. "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 behaviors than childless individuals."
The study, published in the
For example, 60-year-old men who had children had about two years more of life than those without, with a life expectancy of 20.2 and 18.4 years respectively. For women at 60, those with children had life expectancies of 24.6 years while those without children had 23.1.
The life expectancy difference continued as the study group grew older. By 80, parents had a life expectancy of 7.7 years for men and 9.5 years for women. In comparison, the 80-year-olds without children had a life expectancy of 7 years for men without children and 8.9 years for women without children.
The sex of the child had no influence on their parent's longevity, according to researchers, but it should be noted that this finding was based only on families with one child.
"Perhaps being the only child is related to a greater responsibility of parents, reducing the difference in the amount of help given by sons and daughters," they study authors write.
Of course parenthood isn't the only thing boosting longevity.
"In terms of all other causes that would affect your death risk in these old ages, having a child is not among the greatest ones," study co-author
(c)2017 Miami Herald
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