Surely Not?! Having Kids Makes You Live Longer

  • Parents Only

By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

Are the kids driving you up the wall? At least they're not driving you to an early grave! New research has revealed that having at least one child will make you live longer than childless people...but not a whole lot younger. 

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at 1.5 million Swedish people born between 1911 and 1925. It was found that people with kids had a slightly longer life expectancy (2 years for men and 1.5 years for women), and that after age 80, this longer life expectancy remained (nine months longer for men and seven months longer for women with kids). 

It was found that the increased lifespan was uniform for all parents regardless of the gender of their children and whether or not they were married. 

Surely That's Not Right!

In the midst of your parenting woes, it could be hard to believe that these little terrors bundles of love will actually add years to your life. But, facts are facts, and the authors of the study gave a few possible reasons why the results showed what they did:

  • Greater social interaction: having kids tends to lead to greater social interactions well into old age, and social interactions have been linked to a longer life.
  • Getting cared for: all those years of changing nappies are often repayed when you're in your old age. Kids often support their aging parents in their senior years, which could help them stay around a little longer. 
  • Parents are usually pretty healthy: Parents usually have lower rates of smoking, better diets and are fitter on average than childless people, possibly leading to a longer life. 

Hmmm...only time will tell with this one. 

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