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February 13, 2019 Wednesday 01:34:07 PM IST
Maternal Grandmothers Can Raise Survival Rate of Grandchildren

New studies show that infants either living with their maternal grandmothers or close by have a 30% higher rate of survival.

The studies reported in Current Biology is on the basis of data collected in Finland among churchgoers. The period covered the years from 1731 to 1895. A total of 5815 children of large families were covered in the study in the study. When maternal grandmothers in the 50 to 75 age group lived nearby, the survival rate of kids in the 2-5 age group increased by 30%. However, having a paternal grandmothers past 75 years of age did not boost the survival chances of a grandchild as they live with their sons. When they are ailing, the sons would be struggling to meet the needs of their babies as well as their mothers. However, if the maternal grandmother stayed too far apart, it did not have a positive impact on survival rate of the grandchild. The data used for this study covered 3,382 maternal grandmothers and 56,767 grandchildren in Canada's St Lawrence Valley.

When nuclear families are becoming the norm, the insights of the research should prompt us to think whether our parents should be denied the opportunity to improve the physical and emotional well-being of their grandchildren.

Source: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30029-6

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