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A recent study in Denmark has found that couples who choose to have children live longer than their childless counterparts.
According to The Telegraph, researchers from Aarhus University observed more than 21,000 couples who had opted for in-vitro fertilization between 1994 and 2005. During that time period, 15,210 children were born and 1,564 were adopted.
A total of 96 women and 200 men died during the study.
Health Day reports that researchers found death rates to be two to four times higher among childless couples, even after taking health concerns like age or status markers like education and income into account. Cancer, accidents, and circulatory diseases showed up more often among childless women than those who gave birth themselves.
For the men, death rates were double for childless men when compared to biological fathers.
Another interesting find was that those who chose to adopt had better mental health. 700 women and 550 men in the study suffered mental illness. However, this was half as common in cases where they had adopted a child.
People with children seemed to be happier and healthier, perhaps because they were more focused on caring for their child than worrying about themselves. Parents simply didn’t have the time or excuse for getting themselves into trouble. They were less likely to fall victim to abusive substances like alcohol or commit less favorable acts in their downtime.
The study’s results were published in the Journal of Epidemology and Community Health.