The study makes an unexpected conclusion: people with a large number of brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and children, apparently, have a lower risk of serious diseases.
According to a new evolutionary study, countries with a culture of large families have lower rates of cancer.
Research conducted by the professors of evolutionary medicine, in Switzerland and Australia, based on data on the number of families and incidence data of the United Nations.
The researchers say that there are many factors in the incidence of cancer, but they believe that a key element may be that the emotional environment of large families creates a deep impact on reducing the risk of disease.
“From the point of view of evolution, cancer is a very interesting disease, because it grows with the spread of mankind,” – said in an interview with DailyMail Professor at the Institute of evolutionary medicine University of Zurich Professor Frank Rule.
Collaborating with researchers from the University of Adelaide, his team collected data from UN agencies in the rate of cancer in 178 countries, types of cancer, fertility rates, family size, life expectancy, wealth and index of biological condition (which evaluates how they can reproduce).
They brought the average family size, estimating how many children a woman in this region will have in your life. These figures were placed in a graph of the speed of cancer – and gave a clear line, regardless of income, age, or urbanization. Communities where women had more children, had lower cancer rates. The large size of the family was particularly associated with a lower risk of developing cancer of brain, bladder, lung, stomach, breast, ovarian, colorectal, cervical and melanoma.
For women, these data are not surprising. While a multiple pregnancy increases the risk of developing breast cancer, it reduces the risk of many other cancers.
Intriguingly, however, the study showed that men are more likely to benefit from the fact that living in a big family, when it came to cancer. This is due to the fact that Dr. Ryle calls the emotional aspect of the family: it seems that there is something protective against a simple fact of life in the community.
“Social interaction affects our well-being,” said Dr. Ryle, “It’s definitely a major factor for several reasons: behavioral, because we act differently; we eat differently; we have different sexual behaviour; we have different interactions with other people.”
The study fits the research the growing factor of loneliness and its consequences.
Increasingly, studies show that human relationships can have a profound physical and emotional impact on people. It has been shown that poor mental health affects blood pressure, increasing the risk of serious diseases. This is a problem that is amplified in the age of social media, with a high rate of anxiety among teenagers, replacing actual human contact with the Internet.