Having two children is good for couples` health
London: Those who have two children are
likely to be more healthier than their counterparts who are
childless or have one kid, a new study has found.
The international research on 1.5 million people found
that becoming a mother or father reduces the risk of serious
health conditions such as cancer, heart disease or becoming an
But the benefits were only clear for men and women who
had two children and those with one child, or none at all,
were at increased risk of death from almost all the conditions
studied, perhaps because they were less likely to look after
their health, the study found.
The research also discovered that two children was the
optimum number in terms of parents` health and those with
larger families have a higher chance of suffering from many
diseases, perhaps because they struggled to cope with the
stresses of looking after several children, The Telegraph
"Four-plus children might have adverse effects arising
from stress, socio-economic disadvantages and lifestyles,
offsetting or even outweighing social benefits of parenthood,"
said lead researcher Emily Grundy of the London School of
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The analysis by British and Norwegian researchers
examined the records of Norwegian men and women born over a 33
It found those who had no children, or just one, had an
increased risk of dying from almost every condition, with a
particularly strong link with alcohol abuse.
Among women, there was a higher likelihood of accidents
and heart, and circulatory disease while men more commonly
suffered lung and respiratory problems.
Those with three children had mixed health fortunes, but
parents of two fared best overall.
Those with larger families did almost as badly as those
with none or one child -- but for different reasons.
Cervical cancer featured prominently among mothers of
four, while father of large families were more likely to
suffer violence and accidents.
However, the study found that there were some benefits
for women with several children as their odds of breast cancer
The findings of the study appeared in the Social Science
& Medicine Journal.
First Published: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 00:00
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