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Older fathers linked to children with psychiatric problems

By Tim Sandle     Mar 1, 2014 in Health
Whilst complications that can occur in children of older mothers is well-recognized, older fathers can also pose a risk. Older dads may have children with higher risk of psychiatric disorders, according to a study.
According to a team of researchers from Indiana University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, evidence is increasing for the impact of the father’s age on the health of the child. In particular, children of older fathers may have increased risk of some psychiatric disorders. Lead author Brian D’Onofrio of Indiana University told the science site NPR that "Paternal age may have a stronger effect than we previously realized."
To reach their conclusion, the scientists used data available for more than 2.5 million individuals born between 1973 and 2001 in Sweden from more than 1.4 million distinct fathers. They found that, compared to fathers from 20 to 24 years old, children born to fathers 45 and older had a higher risk of autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, suicide attempts, and psychosis.
Additionally, the researchers also found that children born by fathers of advanced age were more likely to have failed a grade and have lower overall educational achievement.
However, it is important to note that the researchers identified a correlation, not a cause and effect relationship. The research does not suggest that older fathers should not have children.
The findings have been reported in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, in a paper titled "A Comprehensive Assessment of Parental Age and Psychiatric Disorders".
More about Psychiatric, Fathers, Illness, Birth, Birth defects
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