Not Having Kids Might Kill You

Being childless increases risk of premature death, researchers say
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2012 1:19 PM CST
They may wake you up in the middle of the night, but they're ultimately extending your life, a new study suggests.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – You might swear that your kids are taking years off your life, but a new study suggests they're actually doing the opposite. Parents are a lot less likely to die a premature death than people who don't have kids, a team of Danish researchers has concluded. Childless men saw their risk of an early grave double, and for women it as much as quadrupled, the Daily Mail reports.

The study looked only at couples that wanted children but were unable to have them, however; it didn't look at people who were childless by choice. Adopting appeared to reduce the effects in certain circumstances. Researchers cited a host of potential reasons the childless died early, from drug and alcohol abuse, to depression and psychiatric issues, to physical conditions directly related to their infertility. (Read more parenting stories.)

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