Having children increases life expectancy

In addition to the joy and good feeling of having a child, bringing a new person to this world could have other benefits. Specifically, increase the number of years that a person lives as demonstrated by the Karolinska Institute and that has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

According to this new research, having children means that life expectancy lengthens considerably and that people who become parents live beyond the 60 years. Bringing a child into this world can make the number of years a person spends in this world increase to two decades.

Almost 21 more years of life

The people in charge of this investigation went to the data of the national registry of Sweden where they verified how much they had lived those people born between 1911 and 1925. The aging of these people was compared with the number of children they had had over the years. Among all these numbers, those responsible for this work found themselves with a pattern: if these individuals had been parents, their death had been postponed more.


Those men who had had children usually live almost 21 more years after turning 60, while those who had not been parents prolonged their lives an average of 18.4 years. On the other hand, mothers extended their life expectancy by 24.6 years of life for the 23.1 of women who had not brought children to this world.

The trend was similar in those cases in which the life expectancy that parents had from the 80 years. In the case of men with children, from this age they used to survive an average of 7.7 more years for the 7 of those who had not had offspring. In the case of mothers, motherhood ensured an additional 9.5 years for the 8.9 of those women who had not had children.


Healthier life

The researchers point out that one of the explanations in this matter is that people with children tend to opt for a healthier lifestyle. Having a child at home supposes depriving oneself of other activities more harmful to health such as the habitual intake of alcohol or smoking assiduously. In addition, the activities that are carried out together with the little ones.

In addition another hypothesis that is shuffled to explain why having children ensures a longer life expectancy is that when old age arrives, people have among their offspring a figure that can take care of them. Someone who is attentive to their state of health and who, if necessary, would take care of them during the illness. A missing figure in those who do not have offspring.

Grandchildren and life expectancy

Not only do children make people's life expectancy grow. The family also makes death go away thanks to other figures such as grandchildren as revealed by another study conducted by the team of the doctor Sonja Hilbrand, PhD candidate at the Department of Psychology of the University of Basel, Switzerland.


This team analyzed the results of a subsequent study carried out in Germany where a questionnaire was made to 500 people older than 70 years between 1990 and 2009. These data were divided into two groups: elders who helped third parties and took care of their grandchildren, and those who did not perform this activity.

After separating some risk factors such as smoking or other congenital health problems, the results confirmed the hypothesis that the researchers had left. The life expectancy of the grandparents who took care of their grandchildren was 20 years older than that of the group that did not.

In fact, most of these people who took care of their grandchildren were still alive ten years after having conducted the first interview. On the contrary, just over half of the grandparents who had not taken over these tasks had died five years after this first survey.

Damián Montero

Video: Having children may increase your lifespan


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