Researchers tracking a sample of infertile men for a decade found that they were almost a fifth (17 percent) more likely to die from cardio disease.
Michael Eisenberg, professor of urology at Stanford University, California, undertook the study because he wanted to know if infertile men had worse health prospects than those who had sired children, the journal Human Reproduction reports.
He and colleagues tracked 135,000 male members of the American Association of Retired Persons for a decade. They had a mean age of 62 years at the beginning of the study, according to the Telegraph.
Eisenberg`s team only looked at men who were or had been married, in a bid to compare men who were actually infertile with those who were fathers.
They found that over 10 years, about 10 per cent of the study group died. A fifth of those deaths were due to cardiovascular disease.
Those who were childless were slightly more likely to die, and Eisenberg`s team found that the higher rate of cardiovascular deaths among them accounted for almost all of the difference in mortality between the two groups.
Eisenberg suggested that low testosterone could reflect broad underlying health problems, which could have led to a higher risk of heart disease in later life.