Secret to longevity? A good pal, study suggests

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Friends could be more important than family – at least when it comes to living longer.

Researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, found that friends, rather than children or relatives, offer the most benefit to survival in later life. Results from a study of 1,500 Australians aged 70 and older revealed that a strong network of friends and confidants slightly improved the chances of survival. Frequent contact with children and relatives had a minimal impact on survival rates over a 10-year period.

The study was published in the British Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health last month.