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Stay at home dads

The question

Scientific research claims that men who stay at home to look after their children are more likely to suffer heart attacks later in life than those who continue paid work.

Would this affect your decision to be a stay at home parent?

The bottom line seems to be that life is inevitably stressful, so why not accept that and manage it to a sensible level? Perhaps the stay at home option wins by a margin - at least you can shut the kids in another room for short term relief.

Try doing that with your boss.

Robin Thomson, structural engineer, Livingston.

Even with all the stress and damage to health - regardless of who 'stays at home' - my two children are among the best things to happen to me in my life and would do it all again, gladly.

Paul Russell, 44, customer service director, London This type of 'research' devalues serious efforts by engineers and scientists to present facts to the public in an unbiased and understandable manner. Does anyone seriously believe medical conditions can be accurately linked to a particular type of stress? My experience is that women are more emotionally capable of handling children. This is not universal, but if I was to be a stay at home dad, it would only be once the children reached five years old.

Geoff Home, 52, director, Yorkshire There's not only a lot of meaningless research published, but there's also a lot picked up by the press and incorrectly reported. If I was contemplating becoming a stay at home dad, I wouldn't pay much attention to any such reports. I played a positive role when my two children were young, although I was still expected to go out and be the bread winner.

Lance Fogg, 58, principal traffic engineer, Blackpool Having recently been made a father, I can understand that looking after the kids could easily send me to an early grave; not necessarily from becoming a stay at home dad, but imagining the future boyfriends my daughter will bring home.

Andy Eggleston, 27, traffic engineer, Milton Keynes Being female, I do not have a 'stay at home dad' decision to make! Personally, I am amazed that any dad would choose to stay at home, but well done to those that do. It's not something that I would consider doing myself, with or without the health risks.

Charis Fowler, 29, senior engineer, Lichfield People often ask: 'why are we here, what is our role in life and, most famously, what is the answer to life, the universe and everything?' Well, the answer certainly isn't 42 or anything remotely like it. In my opinion, the answer is 'to procreate'. So stop moaning about it and get on with it!

Peter Wadsworth, 56, highway design engineer I don't reckon many people I know would take it into account. They might use it as an excuse not to do something that they didn't want to, but that's a different matter. If a job, hobby or other activity appeals to you, surveys, statistics and reports are only used to reinforce the decision of the heart and to convince yourself that you've made the right decision.

Tim Griffiths, 50, temporary works consultant, High Wycombe

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