Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark studied more than 21,000 couples having in vitro fertilization treatment between 1994 and 2005 -- while 15,210 children were born, 1,564 were adopted, the Daily Telegraph reported. During the study period, 96 women and 200 men died.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found the early death rate from circulatory disease, cancers and accidents among childless women was four times as high as that among those who gave birth to their own child, and 50 percent lower among women who adopted. The study also found the early death rate in men was halved if they had children.
The study also showed there was no difference in psychiatric illness in couples whether they were childless or not, but those who adopted had fewer mental health problems probably because of health screening of prospective adoptive parents.
"Mindful that association is not the same thing as causation, our results suggest that the mortality rates are higher in the childless," the researchers wrote in the study.
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