Male childlessness as independent predictor of risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality: A population-based cohort study with more than 30 years follow-up

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In a recent population-based study, an elevated risk of the Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and type 2 diabetes was found in childless men compared to those who have fathered one or more children. Therefore, by using a larger cohort of more than 22 000 men from the Malmo Preventive Project (MPP) we aimed to expand our observations in order to evaluate the metabolic profile of childless men and to evaluate if childlessness is an additional and independent predictor of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), mortality and incident diabetes when accounting for well-known biochemical, anthropometric, socio-economic and lifestyle related known risk factors. Logistic regression was used to assess risk of MACE, diabetes and MetS at baseline. Multivariate Cox regression was used to evaluate the risks of MACE and mortality following the men from baseline screening until first episode of MACE, death from other causes, emigration, or end of follow-up (31(st)December 2016) adjusting for age, family history, marital status, smoking, alcohol consumption, educational status, body mass index, prevalent diabetes, high blood lipids, increased fasting glucose and hypertension. Childless men presented with a worse metabolic profile than fathers at the baseline examination, with elevated risk of high triglycerides, odds ratio (OR) 1.24 (95%CI: 1.10-1.42), high fasting glucose OR 1.23 (95%CI: 1.05-1.43) and high blood pressure, OR 1.28 (95%CI: 1.14-1.45), respectively. In the fully adjusted prospective analysis, childless men presented with elevated risk of cardiovascular mortality, HR: 1.33 (95% CI: 1.18-1.49) and all-cause mortality, HR 1.23 (95%CI: 1.14-1.33), respectively. In conclusion, these results add to previous studies showing associations between male reproductive health, morbidity and mortality. Male childlessness, independently of well-known socio-economic, behavioral and metabolic risk factors, predicts risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Consequently, this group of men should be considered as target population for preventive measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0237422
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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