Although most of us are dreading the perspective of having and raising children, it appears that becoming a mom or a dad has many hidden benefits. According to a new Swedish study, couples who have children tend to live longer that those without children. The study reveals that parents in their sixties will live two years longer than childless couples.
For most people, having children equals many sleepless nights, tons of worries, and going over one’s head in order to provide for them. One would not associate this type of behavior with longevity, but according to a new Swedish study, it’s quite the contrary.
The study, which was published on the 13th of March in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reveals that couples with children tend to live a longer and healthier life than those who decide that having children is not in the cards.
For the purpose of the study, Karin Modig, the head researcher, and her team of scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reviewed the health records of over 700,000 men and women who were born between 1911 and 1925.
The team of researchers revealed that, according to the study’s results, men over the age of sixty are more likely to live for two more years if they have children compared to those who don’t have children. Subsequently, the study revealed the mothers over the age of 60 are more likely to live for an additional 1.5 years compared to those who haven’t given birth.
Dr. Modig declared that the results were consistent, regardless of the child’s gender. So, why do parents live longer than couples without children? The head researchers suggested that healthier behavior might be a possible explanation. More specifically, couples with children will tend to make more home-cooked meals for their children, eat more vegetables, and spend more time outside compare to childless couples.
Another possible explanation is that adult children take care of their parents. As Modig noted, a parent who lost his or her partner is very likely to look towards its child for support. Furthermore, socializing with adult children or taking care of grandchildren can also have a positive impact on a parent’s wellbeing.
In the study’s closing remarks, Modig and her colleagues noted that the results should be taken with a grain of salt, as the study does not prove that there is a direct link between longevity and having children.
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