Children who are born to older fathers have a possible higher chance of having health problems such as learning disorders and also psychiatric problems, suggests a new scientific research study. Over two million children were tested that were born from the years 1973 to 2001, and it was discovered that those who had fathers who were age 45 and over were more likely to have problems such as bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia, drug abuse, attempted suicide, actual suicide and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD for short.
This was in comparison to a child born to a father who was around age 24 or so. The child with the father who was 45 or older was believed to be nearly four times more likely to come down with autism and nearly 15 times more possible to be diagnosed with ADHD. Also it stated that children born to the older dads were twice as likely to have some sort of psychotic condition, 25 times more probable to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly three times more likely to have suicidal tendencies or be addicted to some sort of drug or drugs.
Brian D’Onofrio, who was the chief lead of the research study and is also a professor at the department of brain sciences at Indiana University, stated in a college press release that he and his group of associates were extremely shocked by what they found. Such specific links with paternal age were much bigger than had ever been seen from earlier studies.
Yet D’Onofrio does not want everyone to believe that every child born from older fathers is going to have such problems. He stated that the tests do not mean that all kids born to older dads will experience psychiatric or educational problems.
Instead, the study discovered that advanced paternal age during childbearing can be linked with greater chances for potential severe problems. As such, the study just adds to a growing amount of research that lets families, society and doctors all know as a whole to ponder all the pros and cons of waiting to delay having any children.
Even though the new research report did seem to show a link between older fathers and an increased chance of mental and learning problems with their offspring, it did not actually prove a cause and effect. A child behavior expert, who did not take part in the research study, stated that the findings needed to be kept in the proper perspective because the real risk of having a child with any of these kinds of problems was small and that parents should not overreact to the study findings.
There have been similar studies which show that older women also carry the risk of having children with the same kind of health problems. The reasons for such risks are unknown but it is possible that older eggs could be more predisposed to genetic changes as women put off childbirth. The same could hold true for the sperm of older men. Age definitely seems to have adverse effects in terms of raising the chance of children having health problems. However age is just one of several factors that couples need to be taking into consideration when they are planning a family. The research report was printed up in the Feb. 26 edition of JAMA Psychiatry.
Children who are born to older fathers have a possible higher chance of having health problems such as learning disorders and also psychiatric problems, suggests the new scientific research study but that is it.
By Kimberly Ruble