In worrying news for single dads, a Canadian study has found that they are twice as likely to die earlier than other parents. The 11 year study followed the health and longevity of over 40,000 participants, and the disturbing results were overwhelming.
The results, published in The Lancet Public Health, identified a high risk of mortality as only one of a number of health concerns related to single fathers.
“Our study does not identify the exact cause of [the early death],” said Maria Chiu, a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Canada. “We did find that single fathers also tend to have unhealthier lifestyles, which could be an important area to address to improve health in this high-risk group.”
It seems that the results can’t be chalked up to a one off study either. Scientists in Sweden conducted a similar survey of over half a million people, backing up the Canadians’ findings.
“Our research highlights that single fathers have higher mortality, and demonstrates a need for public health policies to help identify and support these men,” says Dr. Chiu.
Single fathers were less likely to eat a healthy diet, with fruit and vegetable intake way down and binge drinking severely increased according to the study. The incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer was also elevated among the single dad population.
Whilst cause of death in relation to the dads was not identified by either study, in both cases single dads who lived with their children lived longer, seemingly proving that living with youngsters improves health and longevity.
The results can be used to inform health professionals and fathers of the potential risk factors associated with men raising children as a single, and to be mindful of this in their preventative treatments.