Over the years, many studies have been conducted on the correlations between women’s life expectancy and whether or not they had children. However, little to no research has been conducted on how having children affects a man’s life expectancy. Previous studies showed a correlation between having a family or even a dog and life expectancy. However, these factors were not looked at very seriously.
A new study conducted by researchers at Stanford found that men with children were less likely to develop heart disease. The study was headed by Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a urologist at Stanford University. Â He and his colleagues looked at 135,000 men in the American Association of Retired Persons over a 10-year period. The study was published on September 26 in Human Reproduction.
How Eisenberg Conducted His Study
The subjects of the study met the following criteria:
- They were at least 60 years old.
- They were retired.
- They were in good health prior to their deaths.
- They did not have a history of strokes or other heart complications prior to their deaths.
Eisenberg concluded that there was a correlation between parental status and cardiovascular disease in men. The researchers looked at about 70 different causes of death in these men. They looked for cases where men seemed to have died of a disease related to heart complications. After looking closely at these cases, Eisenberg found that men without children had about a 17 percent higher chance of developing heart disease than those who had never been a father.
What Does the Study Mean?
He cautioned that this does not necessarily imply that having children reduces the likelihood of developing heart disease. Researchers suspect there may be another connection.
Another possibility is there is a correlation between fertility and the probability of developing heart disease. For that reason, Eisenberg focused his study on men who had been married at least once in their lives. The assumption was that men who had been married but never had children had a higher chance of being infertile.
The real benefit of the study is to show possible warning signs of future heart disease. These researchers believe that if they can show a link between heart disease and infertility, doctors can predict heart disease in their patients. Identifying whether the link is between having children or infertility is extremely important. This will help physicians diagnose their patients better.
Of course, the study can’t say for certain whether or not these men were infertile. It is also possible their partners were infertile or using contraceptives.