Older Dads Study Produces Interesting Results


Share this Post

A new study shows that men who wait until they are older to have children have a higher chance of having children with a psychiatric problem such as bipolar disorder, autism, or ADD. The study included more than 2.6 million Swedish men who were born between 1973-2001. The study showed that men who were older than 24 were much more likely to have children with personality or behavior problems and men who were over 45 faced an even greater risk.

The study also took into the consideration several other factors that could have had an impact on a child's mental health, including mothers' age at conception, parents' education and history of psychiatric problems, and the mental health of each child's siblings.

Although women can only get pregnant throughout a certain amount of years and are unable to do so after going through menopause, it was once thought that men were capable of making children at any age. Since men continue to produce sperm throughout their lives, it was believed that these sperm were healthy regardless of the man's age.

The study suggests that as men age, their sperm could possibly become damaged, mutated, or weakened, leading to such problems. Researchers insist that this is just a suggestion and there is no guarantee that a man over the age of 24 or 45 will have a child with psychiatric problems.

Although the study is shocking, researchers believe it will be useful in determining what other genetic mutations linked with older parents can contribute to certain health problems. It will also open the door for more similar studies.

How old were you when you fathered your first child and do you think the study is accurate?

Image via Wikimedia Commons