A massive new study of over 1.4 million people has revealed the difference in life expectancy persists even into parents aged over 80.
The new research reports on the benefits of having children, the world-renowned Karolinska Institue in Stockholm, Sweden has studied over 1.4 million people. During the tests, experts tracked things such as lifespan from the age of 60 of all men (704,481) and women (725,290 born between 1911 and 1925 living in Sweden.
The results showed that men and women who had at least one child experienced lower death risks than childless men and women!
Aged 60 years, the difference in life expectancy between those with children and those without came out as almost two years for men and 1 and a half for women. A considerable amount!
Additionally, aged 60, men with children could expect to live for another 20.2years, whilst men without any children could live for another 18.4 years.
In comparison, women aged 60 with children could expect to live on average a further 24.6 years whilst those without may live another 23.1 years.
The results even proved that having children had effective influences on people aged 80 and over. Men could expect to live for an additional 7.7 years and those without children could live around 7 years.
Likewise, for women aged 80 with children, they could expect to live for a further 9.5 years, compared with a further 8.9 years for those without.
Seemingly, the research indicates that both married and non-married couples benefitted from having children, though unmarried people (in particular men) – seemed to enjoy several strong benefits.
This study may indicate that unmarried people may rely on their children for extra support, whilst married couples have one another.
The team also discovered that the sex of the baby doesn’t effect the parent’s life expectancy at all. However, previous studies have revealed girls are more willing and likely to help elderly parents.
Yet, this study believes boys are just as likely to offer support to parents now. It is also thought that biological factors involved in having children may also play a role in life expectancy.
Overall, the team concluded:
“Having children is associated with increased longevity, particularly in an absolute sense in old age.
“That the association increased with parents’ age and was somewhat stronger for the non-married may suggest that social support is a possible explanation.”