Those who’ve raised youngsters may find this hard to believe, but a new study suggests having children can actually make you live longer –particularly if you’re an older parent.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that parents aged 60 may live up to two years longer than their childless peers.

Karin Modig and her team used national registry data to look at the lifespans of more than 1.4 million elderly men and women in relation to their marital status and whether or not they had kids. The risk of death was lower in people with at least one child, particularly among men, the researchers found.

“At 60 years of age, the difference in life expectancy was two years for men and 1.5 years for women,” said the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

When factors like education level were considered, the difference in death risk increased with age between parents and non-parents. For instance, childless men aged 90 had a death risk of 17.7 percent, compared to 16.2 percent for men of the same age with children.

“Children can provide support in navigating the healthcare system, how to take medication, providing emotional support,” said Modig.

Researchers also found that the difference in death risk was greater in parents who weren’t married than those who were, especially in men. 

“One explanation could be that, especially in these cohorts of old people, it’s more likely that the man is older than the woman, so maybe women are more likely to be carers,” said Modig.

The study encompassed records of 704,481 men and 725,290 women in Sweden who were born between 1911 and 1925.

The findings declared that men aged 60 with children could anticipate living for another 20.2 years, whereas men without children could look forward to another 18.4 years on Earth. Women aged 60 with kids could anticipate another 24.6 years above ground, while women without kids could expect another 23.1 years.

It seems there was perhaps a method to your tots' madness, after all. 

h/t The Independent