A study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, indicates men who become fathers before the age of 25 are at a greater risk of dying early in life. The researchers said the stress associated with fatherhood takes a toll on the life of the young fathers.
The Finnish study found young fathers are at an increased risk of dying in their 40s and 50s. The researchers said on average, a man has one-in-20 chance of dying between the ages of 45 and 54. However, the study found the risk increases by 26 percent in the case of a man who becomes a father at the age of 22 and 14 percent in case a man fathers a child 22 to 24.
In addition to the group of men who fathered a child at 22, 22 to 24 and after 25 years of age, the researchers also studied a group of 1,124 siblings. A man who has a brother and became a father at 22 was found to be at 73 percent greater risk of dying during in middle age compared to a sibling who fathered a child at 25 or 26.
The researchers said the responsibility of a child at an early age may force dads to compromise in their careers and take low-paying job. This, in turn, affects health.
"Parenting at a young age can be challenging, and it is important that family members and health professionals recognize that it is not only the young mothers, but also the young fathers that may need support," said Elina Einio of the University of Helsinki, the study's lead author.