Friday, April 20, 2012

More Children = Healthier Women

The Nelson Family Reunion                                
A study recently published in the Australian medical journal Age and Ageing finds preliminary evidence that women live longer the more children they have.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported April 20:

"The study, of older Australians living in Dubbo, found women [over 60 years of age] with six or more children were about 40 per cent less likely to die during the 16-year follow-up than women with no children. The study leader, Leon Simons, of the University of New South Wales, said some had up to 14. ''I'm not advocating for you to have six or 14 kids, but it does seem having a few children is good for survival,'' he said. The study used information collected from more than ... 1500 women who were aged over 60 when the researchers first examined them in 1988 and 1989.
''|'They were having kids in the '40s and '50s, pre-oral contraceptive pill,"|'' Associate Professor Simons said. '|''In this age group, large numbers of children were quite common'|'
"Compared with women who had no children, those with two had a 17 per cent decreased risk of death. For women with three children there was a 20 per cent decreased risk, and this pattern largely continued with additional children.
"Associate Professor Simons said it was not known exactly why childbirth might protect women in later life, but similar findings were seen overseas. The answer could be hormonal but behaviour could play a part as well."

This study is quantitative science reaffirming what is evident in simple observance of real life: Larger families provide a more stable, healthy, flexible, and supportive--and therefore better--life for their members at all stages of life. In  youth, the larger family provides the support, care, and teaching of siblings in addition to what the parents can provide; in adult years, sisters and brothers provide a buffer from economic reversals, in old age, a support system of children and grandchildren, and in final years, the comfort of family care-giving.

Happy is the man and happy is the woman who have a quiver full of them!

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