20th Century Fox Television

The Secret To Living Longer Lies In Your Weekly Phone Calls With Mom


I talked to my mom on the phone three times yesterday, and it still didn't feel like enough.

My dad and I are doing a father-daughter trip for Labor Day next weekend, and I still wanted more hang time with him. So, I'm making him fly back to New York with me to spend a few days here.

My cousin lived here over the summer while she was an intern, and I made sure she rented an apartment two blocks away from mine so we could hang out every single day.

I'm that friend in high school who was constantly bailing on plans for family dinners and events. I'm close to my family. Maybe even annoyingly close. You get the picture.

If you're anything like me, I have some good news for you. Next time your friends give you a hard time for choosing your family over them AGAIN, just ignore them and keep doing you because you're actually increasing your lifespan.

A new study found that older adults are more likely to enjoy a few extra years on Earth if they're close to their family members.

Sociologists conducted the study by using survey data from almost 3,000 older adults.

The participants answered questions regarding who they considered their closest confidants in 2005 and 2006 when they were between the ages of 57 and 85. Then the researchers revisited the respondents in 2010 and 2011 to see who had died.

The findings were interesting.

Researchers found that people who listed a non-spousal family member as a person they felt "extremely close" to had about a 6 percent chance of dying in the next five years, while people who said they were "not very close" to family members were almost TWICE as likely to die with a 14 percent risk of mortality.

In fact, just having the family members in the first place was helpful in and of itself.

Researchers found that people who listed more non-spousal family members in their network (no matter how close) had lower odds of death compared to people with less family members.

James Iveniuk, lead author for the study and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, summarized their findings in a statement:

So, there you have it. Being close to your family rocks. Now go call your mom.

Citations: Closeness to Family, Not Friends, Helps You Live Longer (LiveScience)