Having Kids Increases Parents' Life Span By 2 Years Compared To Childless Couples, Study Says
Every parent knows having kids is a big challenge and they might sometimes feel the exhaustion and stress taking a toll on their bodies. A new study, however, cites that couples who decide to become parents are likely to extend their life span by two years compared to couples who remain childless.
Swedish experts tracked some 1.4 million individuals born from 1911 and 1925. They learned that those who had at least one child lived up to 80 years and over.
They also learned that the life expectancy of parents can extend up to 24.6 years for moms and 20.2 years for dads at 60-years-old. The average life expectancy of those with kids was nearly twice as high compared to childless individuals. Their findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
Experts, however, failed to pinpoint the exact reasons why parents live longer than those without kids. It might likely be because they have children who care for them or offer a better quality of health and emotional relationships when they are older. "Children can provide support in navigating the healthcare system, how to take medication, providing emotional support," lead study author Dr. Karin Modig said, per Independent.
The research also revealed that there's no difference between having a son or a daughter in terms of the quality of care the children provide for their elderly parents. The general belief that daughters would likely step up for their aging parents has been debunked in this study as the experts said sons equally do the same. "It was just as beneficial to have a boy as it was to have a girl," the study authors noted.
The experts said further study will be conducted to examine other aspects of lifespan, aging and parenting in detail. The experts want to learn if the adult children's proximity to their parents or the type of education the children received could have some influence in this, too.