Role Reversal Increases chances Of Heart Attack
Is your household one where mom stays at home and dad goes out to bring home the bacon, or are you a part of an increasing number of non-traditional families, where the roles have been reversed? New research shows this role reversal may, in fact, be stressful for the heart.
RHONDA ROWLAND, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT
Sean Greene left his career as an architect to stay home with his two sons. Wife, Regan, is an attorney. The idea of Mr. Mom, characterized in the 1980's movie, husbands and wives switching traditional roles.
But don't make the mistake of calling these men Mr. Mom. Sean is a member of the Dad-to-Dad playgroup of Atlanta, and they take their roles very seriously. Matsimo Mariano has a daughter.
Makes dads feel better because they have a way to talk with other dads.
Men who choose to exchange business cards for strollers and diaper bags may need that kind of support. Findings from a major heart study show that men who have been stay-at-home dads for at least 10 years have an 80 percent-that's right-80 percent greater chance of dying than men who traditionally work outside the home.
ELAINE EAKER, EAKER EPIDEMIOLOGY ENTERPRISES
This finding about househusbands as far as we know has never been examined and it's really an unanticipated finding.
Researchers speculate stress may be the cause of the grim statistic.
Since we were kids, we were raised to, you know, be the breadwinner, you know take care of the family you know financially and you know, be the macho male guy.
So you weren't really cultured to think that this is what you were going to be doing?
No boy grows up thinking you know someday I'm going to stay at home with the kids.
There's not many - there's not many boys that grow up and are in high school that go out for extra cash and say hey, I'll just go baby-sit.
Take it over to the table and then maybe you can get yourself a drink.
Yet, they are all doing it for the same reason: their wives' incomes are higher.
Was it a hard decision for you guys to make, for you to stay home?
The decision was pretty easy to make. I mean we knew we wanted to watch our kids.
We need to talk about that answer.
So what about Sean's wife, Regan, the high-demand, high-control attorney? The same study also found women like her are three times more likely to develop heart disease than women who are in low-authority jobs. Why? Researchers speculate role reversal may be behind both statistics.
That incongruity with what society expects of you may be deleterious to your health.
Researchers are not telling couples to go back to traditional role. For Sean and Regan, it seems to be working.