New research shows boys who suffer the loss of a father, such as through death, incarceration or divorce, have worse health than boys whose fathers live in the same home. There are some exceptions, however, such as boys with a sufficient household income after his parents’ divorce. The research was published in the medical journal Pediatrics and was part of the federally funded Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. In this particular case, scientists looked at the DNA obtained through saliva samples from nearly 2,500 children from 20 cities. Scientists used telomere length as a basis for

determining a child’s overall health. Longer telomeres signal better health.Telomeres are caps of DNA on the tips of our chromosomes. Think of them like the cap on a bicycle tire or the plastic tips of shoelaces that prevent the laces from fraying. Certain things cause our telomeres to shorten, and when that happens, we experience cell dysfunction leading to various health problems. READ MORE