Attention OctoMom: your baby habit may not only gift you a playground of stretch marks and lifelong series of tummy tucks, but could also dictate when and how you die. You too perpetually kid-free, George Clooney. The grim reaper has his eye on both of you...
According to a team of British researchers who studied the records of Norwegians born between 1935 and 1968, there are some significant mortality themes correlating quite heavily with number of children borne. In other words, family size can help you live longer. As it turns out, a husband and wife with two to three kids seemed to be about the safest bet for a long, healthy life. On the flip side, the childless to those with child army somehow got wrapped up in higher risk for alcoholism, cervical cancer and even car crashes.
The theories behind this phenomenon vary. Researchers speculate that those with no children or only one child may feel less incentive to take care of themselves and slack off on the health maintenance and 1-2 drink a day rule. Mothers of one or none were most likely to die from alcoholism and heart disease, and the fathers from respiratory problems. Drinking On A Date: How Much Is Too Much?
A brood of four or more and you run the risk of "fatal accidents" in men and cervical cancer in women. While those who are childless may grow apathetic, the matriarch and patriarch of a large family, they theorize, may suffer from stress due to "socioeconomic disadvantages" of having such a huge litter.
Contrary to several other reports, the British and Norwegian researchers found that two or three children did a lady's body good (breastfeeding helps ward off disease) and also strengthened the bond of marriage. Just so long as that number doesn't, again, exceed three. Marriage And Health: Damned If You Do And Don't
After quizzing 90,000 British couples, the scientists found that once baby number four is welcomed into the world, the marriage satisfaction begins to deteriorate and, eerily, the number of "violent death" increases. Yikes.