Having children can affect the length of our lives?

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Having children can affect the length of our lives?

Sleepless nights and stress, which often accompanies parents, may not sound like a way to live longer, but according to recent research, having children can add years to the lives of parents.

A team of researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden recently said that people with the kids could live up to two years longer, compared to those with no children. Scientists say that already conducted earlier studies seemed to confirm this thesis, but they did not provide any specific reasons for this unusual relationship.

A small study conducted to verify how having children affect life expectancy, included an analysis of information on 704 481 men and 725 290 women who were born in the years 1911 to 1925, and reside in Sweden.

The team rated the test status of each person, the number of their children, as well as the sex of their descendants. The study determined how parenting influenced the lives of each of the individuals analyzed at the age of 60.

According to the researchers, having children can extend life by up to two years!

Compared to people who did not have children, people with at least one descendant reduced the risk of early death. According to individuals who were at 60 years of age, the researchers found that men with children live two years longer than men without children, while women with the kids, probably live about 1.5 years longer compared to women who do not have children.

The term results require consideration of some other factors which may affect the length of life, including among other things, the level of education and quality of life.

The researchers also found that the relationship between having a baby and a longer lifespan increase with age.

According to the survey, the later we are parents, the more likely we can gain the highest increase in life expectancy, and people with children, while not being in marriage derive greater joy of parenthood.

An exciting discovery of the study is that non-marriages – especially unmarried men, seem to enjoy the greatest joy of parenthood.

For example, an 85-year-old man who has at least one child, compared to a childless man, can live up to 1.2% as unmarried and 0.6% as married. Comparable data on women are respectively 0.9% and 0.8%.

The researchers speculate that the lack of a permanent relationship can influence that men with children not being in relationships informal or not having a wife, can rely more on their descendants in old age, which may explain the differences in risk of increased mortality comparing married and unmarried people.

Sex of children does not affect the length of life of parents

In contrast to earlier studies, a team of Swedish scientists found that the sex of children does not affect the life expectancy of their parents. The researchers suggest that discovered in previous studies the relationship between gender of children, and the extended period of parental life was flawed because it focused on social benefits that are associated with having a daughter.

In general, women have more social ties than men, and older childless people, especially men, seem to have much less social interaction compared to those with children. Older parents with daughters tend to have increased regular social contacts and get help from daughters if needed.

Researchers believe that greater support from offspring in later life may explain why people with children live longer compared to those without children. This statement, therefore, means that childless people, more often struggling with deficits of support at the end of life, which may affect its length.

One should not exclude individual selective elements as well as alternative explanations for this situation – parents with children show significantly healthier behaviors compared to childless ones.

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