Why Single Fathers Die Early or Have Higher Risk of Death

Lena Kirakosyan's picture
Single Father and child

The risk of dying prematurely is more than doubled for single fathers compared to single mothers or fathers who are in a relationship. This is the result of a study done in Canada and published on February 15 by The Lancet Public Health.


According to the researchers, this phenomenon of single fathers' early death is explained by stress and "less healthy lifestyles.”

Among the 871 fathers without a partner counted, the mortality rate was 5.8 per 1000 per year. This is significantly higher than among single mothers (1.7 per 1000 per year) and fathers in couples (1.9 per 1000 per year). By taking into account factors specific to these single fathers, who are on average older and more often affected by cancer or cardiovascular diseases, the risk of mortality remained twice as high.

Single Father's diet and Lifestyle

The reason is not established with certainty, but researchers suspect an unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, and higher alcohol consumption. In addition, these men have, it seems, "less often a social network, social assistance, or support in the education of their children" than single mothers.


Maria Chiu, the lead author of the survey and a public health researcher at the University of Toronto, said the results of this survey showed "a real need for public health policies to help identify and support these men.”

Researchers point out, however, that there are limits to this study and that more research is needed to reinforce their results.
Finally, remember that cancers and cardiovascular diseases are added to suicides. And for proof, in 2009, there were 3,890 suicides in Canada, affecting "single, divorced, or widowed" more often, with "a rate three times higher among men," says Statistics Canada, a federal government agency in charge of the country's statistics.

Completed between 2000 and 2012, the study took questionnaires from 200,922 Canadian respondents, 40,521 of which were single parents or couples, aged 15 years and over. This is probably why marriage may help you to avoid dementia.

Reference: Le Figaro

Tell us about your lifestyle, diet and exercise routine, please, if you are a single father. Comment below for discussion.

Share this content.



I was a single father for a couple of years. When I started dating my future wife she would occasionally cook meals for me and my son. She made my son a meal which included vegetables. My son who was about 3 years old as he ate the vegetables for the first time said “What are these? These are really really good.” Life of a single father is certainly different from the life of a married father, which is the way it should be: married with a family.
As a married father a good bit of my nutrition comes from child leftovers and food items which fell on the floor. How does the health of single fathers compare with single non fathers?
It was a near-run thing for me. When Barb came into my life, I was battling keeping a job, paying alimony and raising an abused teenaged son whose Mother was still trying to convince him that the divorce was all his fault for ratting her out for abusing him. Like Barb said, I was keeping all of the balls in the air, but I was exhausted emotionally and incredibly fragile. Society tends to blame the Father for nearly everything, expects him to pay for everything, and to have broad shoulders, because he is a man! I was lucky. Barb came into our life at the right time. I was eating well, because I had the obligation to feed my son, especially after I found out that his Mother had been very delinquent in that. It broke my heart when my son guiltily asked me for something to eat, expecting that I would yell at him. As to exercise, who had time? I had three hours of commuting, every day, plus keeping the house, caring for my son. I was active in Scouting as a leader, so that did get me out of the house and somewhat active. I think that taking care of my son kept me going, but I am afraid that had Barb not come into my life when she did, I would probably be dead today, instead of thriving.
How does it compare to single men, without children? Single men without kids have more money and time so we can go to the gym. This promotes healthier eating and abstaining from alcohol - at least Sunday night through Friday morning. Then we blow all our money on restaurants and booze on the weekends and then go out and do ridiculous things on ski slopes or mt. bikes or whatever other toys we can afford that can end in tragedy. Well, comedy to other observers. And knowledge of the latter makes it all worthwhile.