Michael L. Eisenberg of Stanford University School of Medicine and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco, used data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.
The researchers said 137,903 men ages 50-71 without prior cardiovascular disease were followed-up for an average of 10.2 years.
Codes from International Classification of Diseases, ninth edition, were used to establish the cause of death, and multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to estimate the association between offspring number and cardiovascular death, while accounting for sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics, Eisenberg said.
The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, found 92 percent of participants had fathered at least one child, and 50 percent had three or more offspring -- but compared with fathers, after adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, childless men had a 17 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease contracted during the study period.
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