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.”