You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Parenthood can boost longevity, if you don’t die from stress first


Want to live longer? Have children. If you don’t die early from child-rearing stress, parenthood will boost your longevity chances, according to a new study out of Sweden.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute used national registry data to track 1.5 million Swedes born between 1911 and 1925 as they lived through their last years. While the risk of death naturally increased with age for all adults, the team found that those with children had greater longevity.

“Support from adult children to aging parents may be of importance for parental health and longevity,” researchers write. “At old age, the stress of parenthood is likely to be lower and instead, parents can benefit from social support from their children. In addition, parents have on average more healthful behaviors than childless individuals.”

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, also revealed that having children is actually more beneficial as you age, and it is particularly greater for men than women. Men who were not married but had children were also living longer than those with a spouse.

For example, 60-year-old men who had children had about two years more of life than those without, with a life expectancy of 20.2 and 18.4 years respectively. For women at 60, those with children had life expectancies of 24.6 years while those without children had 23.1.

The life expectancy difference continued as the study group grew older. By 80, parents had a life expectancy of 7.7 years for men and 9.5 years for women. In comparison, the 80-year-olds without children had a life expectancy of 7 years for men without children and 8.9 years for women without children.

The sex of the child had no influence on their parent’s longevity, according to researchers, but it should be noted that this finding was based only on families with one child.

“Perhaps being the only child is related to a greater responsibility of parents, reducing the difference in the amount of help given by sons and daughters,” they study authors write.

Of course parenthood isn’t the only thing boosting longevity.

“In terms of all other causes that would affect your death risk in these old ages, having a child is not among the greatest ones,” study co-author Karin Modig told The Guardian. “But it is still a 1.5 percent difference [for 90-year-old men] which is still substantial.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Ed Hartwell seeks joint custody of child with Keshia Knight Pulliam
Ed Hartwell seeks joint custody of child with Keshia Knight Pulliam

Ed Hartwell and Keshia Knight-Pulliam were briefly married last year and now have a child. CREDIT: (left) publicity photo, (right) Getty Images This was posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Former NFL player Ed Hartwell is trying to convince a Fulton County Superior Court judge to give him joint custody...
Fox’s ‘Shots Fired’ addresses race relations and the justice system
Fox’s ‘Shots Fired’ addresses race relations and the justice system

SHOTS FIRED: Pictured L-R: Stephan James and Sanaa Lathan in the “Hour Two: Betrayal of Trust” episode of SHOTS FIRED airing Wednesday, March 29 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Some questions go unanswered in this life
Some questions go unanswered in this life

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. While on a camping trip with his three children, a man rushes to rescue his son, who was boating on the lake — and when he returns to the campsite, his youngest daughter, Missy, has vanished. This is the premise of “The Shack,” a film based on the best-selling book — which...
Atlanta actor on BET series “The Quad,” also local acclaimed artist
Atlanta actor on BET series “The Quad,” also local acclaimed artist

“My dad will tell you I’ve been acting a fool since I was about five, but I just wasn’t getting paid for it,” laughs Masud Olufani who, thanks to the first season of the BET show “The Quad,” is most recognizable these days as Judge Derek Fletcher. Set in Atlanta, “The Quad” stars Anika Noni...
‘Slamma Jamma’ director puts message of redemption in basketball film
‘Slamma Jamma’ director puts message of redemption in basketball film

When moviegoers think of basketball films, 1992’s “White Men Can’t Jump” immediately comes to mind. Several films have tried to match it in the 25 years since, but few have stuck in memory the same way. “Slamma Jamma,” which opens nationwide on Friday, is the latest to attempt the feat. “’Slamma Jamma&rsquo...
More Stories