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Increased Premature Mortality Risk Seen for Single Fathers

Risk factors in single dads linked to a higher adjusted mortality risk vs. single mothers, partnered fathers

THURSDAY, Feb. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Single fathers have a significantly higher risk of mortality than single mothers or partnered fathers, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in The Lancet Public Health.

Maria Chiu, Ph.D., from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, and colleagues used data from a representative sample of 871 single fathers, 4,590 single mothers, 16,341 partnered fathers, and 18,688 partnered mothers from the Canadian Community Health Survey (earliest survey date: Sept. 5, 2000; latest survey date: Dec. 24, 2012). Health status was ascertained at baseline and mortality was examined from the survey date through Oct. 28, 2016.

Participants were followed for a median of 11.10 years. The researchers found that mortality in single fathers was three times higher than in single mothers and partnered fathers (5.8 versus 1.74 and 1.94 per 1,000 person-years, respectively). The adjusted risk of dying was significantly higher for single fathers versus single mothers and partnered fathers (hazard ratio, 2.49 and 2.06, respectively).

“Further work is needed to understand the causes of this high mortality risk and how clinical and public health interventions can improve lifestyle and behavioral risk factors,” the authors write.


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