Childlessness 'may increase likelihood of early death'
10 December, 2012
Madrid: Involuntary childlessness may increase the likelihood of early death, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reports.
The Danish study looked at more than 21,000 couples seeking IVF treatment.
They found women who were unsuccessful in having a child were four times more likely to die prematurely than women who had been mothers.
Critics stress that the risk of early death was low - with just 316 people in total dying over the 11 year study.
The authors of the paper also point out that their research suggests a link between childlessness and premature death and not a cause. They wrote: "Mindful that association is not the same thing as causation, our results suggest that the mortality rates are higher in the childless."
The researchers based their findings on data obtained from various population registers in Denmark on births, deaths and IVF procedures from 1994 to 2005.
During this time 21,276 childless couples registered for IVF treatment, 15,149 children were born and a total of 96 women and 220 men died.