Many parents out there may think that their children are aging them, thanks to all that stress and sleepless nights (not to mention stepping on all those little lego pieces), but it turns out that your kids may be adding years to your lifespan According to a recent study, having kids can increase a person’s mortality up to two years more, versus those without kiddos.
Medical News Today revealed that the study was conducted in Sweden and lead by Dr. Karin Modig. While past research has indicated that parents do live longer than their childless counterparts, the associations around this has been unclear. The team’s goal was to look into those gaps and they used country-wide registry data to look into this. Information was provided on over 704,000 males and over 725,000 females in Sweden, born from 1911 to 1925. Marital status, number of children, and the gender of children were assessed. The study reviewed the effects of parenthood as it relates to lifespan for each participant aged 60 and over.
The research team found that those who had at least one child had a decreased risk of death, versus those childless individuals. A fine example of this was that the study revealed males with kiddos lived approximately two years longer than those males without children. Meanwhile, when it came to the women, females with kids lived about one and a half years longer than those females who did not have children.
The results stood as is, even after other elements were taken into consideration, such as education. The team also found a link among having kids and a longer lifespan as participants increased with age, and males in the study saw the largest increase in lifespan due to parenthood. As well, those who were not married, especially the unmarried males, seemed to gain the biggest lifespan rewards when it came to parenthood. Still, the team hypothesized that not having a partner may have resulted in the unmarried males to depend more on their children as they aged, which could explain the mortality risk decreased rates when it comes to married versus unmarried males.
Despite past studies, the research did not reveal that lifespan was influenced by the gender of a child. While previous research might have revealed a link when it comes to the sex of an offspring and increased lifespan due to the social aspects of having a girl, this was not found to be the case in this study.
Generally, the team believes the results of the study indicate that support later in life by children could offer insight as to why individuals with kids live longer than those without.
Seems that parents do reap the rewards of sleepless nights and stress, after all.