Posts Tagged ‘risks to children’

Older fathers becoming a threat to their children

March 27, 2014

Back in 2009 there was a rash of articles about the dangers to children of advanced paternal age.

Children born to fathers 40 or older have nearly a six-fold increase in the risk of autism as compared with kids whose fathers were younger than 30. Children of fathers older than 50 have a nine-fold risk of autism. And advanced paternal age, as it’s called, has also been linked to “an increased risk of birth defects, cleft lip and palate, water on the brain, dwarfism, miscarriage and ‘decreased intellectual capacity.'” 

And to an increased risk of schizophrenia. This risk rises for fathers with each passing year. The child of a 40-year-old father has a 2 percent chance of having schizophrenia-double the risk of a child whose father is younger than 30. And the kicker: A 40-year-old man’s risk of having a child with schizophrenia is the same as a 40-year-old woman’s risk of having a child with Down syndrome. More recent studies have linked fathers’ age to prostate and other cancers in their children. In September 2008, researchers linked older fathers to an increased risk of bipolar disorder in their children. Add to that the new finding, that the kids of older fathers score lower on IQ and other cognitive tests. 

Now 5 years later there is yet again a splurge of articles about the dangers of older fathers. These headlines are just in 2014.

  1. The Guardian: Children of older men at greater risk of mental illness
  2. Daily Mail: Children born to older fathers ‘are more likely to be ugly’… but may also live longer
  3. Daily Mail: Number of older fathers rises 58% in 14 years: 26 children every day are born to dads who are aged over 50

Of course it must also then follow that younger siblings (born inevitably to older fathers than their elder siblings) have a greater risk of autism, schizophrenia, prostate cancer, lower IQ, cleft palate, water on the brain, of being uglier and suffering from dwarfism!

Perhaps the EU should introduce some legislation to limit the age at which children can be fathered.

After all these aged (but usually richer) fathers are threatening the fundamental genetic structure of humans and perhaps threatening future evolution!!


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