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Having Kids Is Good For Men's Hearts

By Sierra Black |

Having kids is good for men's hearts

Hey, dads! Having kids is good for your heart. That’s not a metaphor.

Dads are less likely to die of heart disease than men without children, according to a new study reported on in Time. It’s not being surrounded by your loving children that makes you healthier. These researchers believe that infertility may be linked to heart disease, so not having kids would be a sign that you’re at higher risk for a heart attack.

The study was huge, involving 137,000 men. But their methodology seems pretty shaky, at least the way the Time story reports it. They didn’t test men for infertility, or keep track of their cholesterol or blood pressure. It didn’t collect any data about their partners’ health or fertility issues. How did they determine which men had fertility problems?

To increase the likelihood that all the men included in the study actually wanted children, the researchers excluded those who had never been married; by including only men who were married or had been married at least once, the researchers could be reasonably sure they had the desire and opportunity to have kids.

Riiiiight. Because all married men want children, and can have them. Unless of course they’re infertile. There are so many married couples who choose not to have children, it seems incredible to me that anyone could do a large-scale study of male infertility and use whether or not a guy was married as proof that he wanted kids, and if he didn’t have them he must be infertile.

A much more plausible explanation is the one barely mentioned at the end of the article:

Further, it’s possible that having kids — like being married or having a pet or a lot of friends — may have lowered men’s heart risk by boosting their health overall.

I haven’t seen all the details of this study, and I’m totally not a scientist. But the idea that having a family boosts your health seems believable to me than the notion that all married men want kids and not having them is a sign of low testosterone and infertility.

Photo: Alain Matthes

 

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About Sierra Black

sierra

Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Having Kids Is Good For Men's Hearts

  1. bob says:

    I wonder if it controlled for smoking.

  2. daria says:

    @bob, yes they controlled for smoking and other lifestyle characteristics

  3. jenny says:

    Please don’t base your heart health based on whether or not you can father a child. Leave your heart health to an actual medical professional with face to face time. Its important. Everyone should make an annual wellness visit just to check things out and make sure little things like blood pressure aren’t becoming elevated. My husband decided to go for a wellness visit when our daughter was 2.5 months old. The doctor heard a heart murmur. We now know my husband has the congenital heart disease called HCM. We mangae it and my husband has a pace maker/defibrillator. Its such a blessing that we caught it before anything happened. I could have lost him. Although we were happier not knowing, knowledge is power. With this knowledge, we now have the ability to monitor and manage his condition. My husband’s lifespan will be normal now. The future out come for my husband’s quality of life has greatly increased. Again, knowledge is power.

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