Research finds parents aged 60 live up to two years longer than their childless counterparts
Having children can increase life expectancy, especially in very old age, a new study has found.
Parents aged 60 may live up to two years longer than their childless counterparts, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Karin Modig and her team used national registry data to analyse the lifespans of more than 1.4 million elderly men and women in relation to their marital status and whether they had children.\
They found the risk of death was lower in people with at least one child – an effect more pronounced in men than women.
“At 60 years of age, the difference in life expectancy was two years for men and 1.5 years for women,” said the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
The researchers said the study is the first to examine whether the association between longevity and parenthood grew stronger with age.
When influencing factors such as education were taken into account, the difference in death risk did increase with age between parents and non-parents.
For example, childless men aged 90 had a death risk of 17.7 per cent, compared to 16.2 per cent for men of the same age with children.