Have Kids & Live a Longer, Healthier Life! (Stop Laughing Yet?)

Say What!? 2

babiesI never expected to double over with laughter over something out of the "Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health," but, damn, this is funny: According to a recent study, couples who have children live longer, healthier -- and this is the kicker -- more sane lives than couples who remain childless. AHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, come on. If you're not cracking up right now, you don't have kids. Because every parent knows that the stress of raising children takes years off your life instead of adding more. More grey hairs, perhaps, but more years? AHAHAHAHA!!

Okay, maybe I'm being a touch over-cynical here. The numbers are pretty crazy, after all: According to researchers, childless men were twice as likely to die a premature death than fathers; childless women were up to four times more likely to die young than mothers! Yikes!

I guess this is good news for parents -- but maybe not such good news that you should go tossing your birth control pills if you don't have kids yet. The childless couples who participated in this study were struggling with infertility issues. None of them were childless by choice. Which means socioeconomic issues weren't taken into account, so who knows why the childless couples died first? Researchers suggested a variety of possible reasons for the earlier death rate, from substance abuse (swingin' singles spend more time in bars?) to depression (presumably over being childless?) to "physical conditions directly related to their infertility," but who knows, really?

As with most studies, I think there are two possible take home messages here: 1. If you have kids, good for you! You'll live longer! and/or 2. If you don't have kids, you can most likely ignore this inconclusive and flawed research.

Do you think people with kids live longer, healthier lives?

 

Image via Dan Harrelson/Flickr

general health, fertility