The secret to having a longer life could be to have children. A new study shows there is a link between childlessness and premature death.

FOX News Radio's Bill Vitka reports:

The people who live longer are the people who have children. Folks who don't have children die at a rate up to four times greater than moms and dads.

The study, reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, finds a link between childlessness and shorter lifespans and mental problems.

The risk of premature death is more pronounced among women. They are four times more likely to die. Among men the risk of early death is double.

You do not have to be a biological mother and father. Even for adoptive parents there are life-extending benefits.

Bill Vitka, FOX News Radio.