Statistics: Parents have a much longer life expectancy than childless people

Statistics: Parents have a much longer life expectancy than childless people

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Parents live longer than couples without children
A new study from Sweden shows that parents live longer than childless people. However, it cannot be concluded that having children has a life-extending effect. The reason may be that mothers and fathers simply live healthier lives.

Humans are getting older
Humans are getting older. A study was recently published that showed that life expectancy in western industrialized countries could rise to over 90 years by 2030. It is known that factors such as an unhealthy diet have a negative impact, while a healthy lifestyle increases life expectancy. A new study has now shown that parenthood also goes hand in hand with longer life expectancy.

Parents have a longer life expectancy
There are moments when fathers and mothers remember the stressful times of their parenthood: the lack of sleep during the baby years, the annoying quarrels of their toddlers, the revolts of the offspring in childhood and the stressful time of puberty.

In a study, scientists from Sweden are now making it clear to all those affected that parenthood is worthwhile, because it goes hand in hand with a longer life expectancy - especially in older age.

As the researchers from Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University report in the journal "Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health", the average gain in life expectancy up to the age of 60 in people with children compared to childless children is around two years.

Supporting adult children
“It is known that the mortality rate of parents is lower than that of childless people. Supporting adult children could be important for parental health and longevity, ”the study authors write.

And further: "The aim of the study was to assess the connection between having a child and the risk of death and to check whether this connection increases in advanced age when health deteriorates and the need for support from a family member increases."

To arrive at their results, the researchers examined the lifetime of a total of 1.4 million women and men who were born in Sweden between 1911 and 1925.

The difference becomes particularly evident in advanced age
As the AFP news agency reports, a distinction was made between childless and young people, as well as married and unmarried people.

The researchers found that people who had at least one child had a lower risk of death, with men getting better than women in absolute terms.

"At the age of 60, the difference in life expectancy was two years for men and one and a half for women," write the scientists.

And 80-year-old fathers could still hope for seven years and eight months of life, while childless peers only had seven years left. For mothers of the same age, nine and a half years were still possible, while their peers only had an average of eight years and eleven months.

Both married and unmarried people with children had a longer life expectancy. In contrast, according to the information, the difference was particularly striking among old, childless men living alone.

Having children does not prolong life
However, the authors conceded that the study only related different factors. It cannot be concluded from this that children have a life-prolonging effect.

Other factors could also be considered. For example, one would have to consider that parents may benefit from financial support for their children in old age or have a healthier lifestyle overall than childless people.

The researchers are said to have been unable to confirm the results of previous studies that daughters are said to have an even better life expectancy than sons. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Study: Childless couples are happier (May 2022).