Father's health habits transfer to child

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Men are notorious for avoiding the doctor, and a new study has found that does not change when they become fathers.

A recent survey of 1,111 men done for the American Academy of Family Physicians found nearly 30 percent of men say they "wait as long as possible" before seeking medical help even when they feel sick or in pain. And 55 percent said they hadn't seen their primary-care physician for an exam in the past year.

According to research published online by the journal Health Services Research, children who live with a single dad are 8 percent less likely to have a well-child visit than children in other families.

The discrepancy exists regardless of whether the father had health insurance or how much money he made. The study found that children in households headed by single dads are 20 percent more likely than children in other types of family to spend an entire year without health insurance.

The study was based on national survey data for more than 62,000 children, the first to examine health coverage and access among single-father families as a group.

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