Higher risk of mental illness for children of older fathers, study says


A new study from Australia says that children born of fathers who are aged 29 or more are more likely to have mental illnesses than are children of younger dads. Countering this, children of younger mothers have a higher risk of some mental illness as well.

Previous study has found that autism rates rise as men become older and father children. The same is likely true of those father's grandchildren.

This new study from the Queensland Brain Institute used data from over two million people for a total of 42.7 million person years. Lead by Professor John McGrath, the study followed people with a broad range of disorders born from 1955 to 2007.

"We found that the overall risk for psychiatric disorders, in particular mental retardation, autism and schizophrenia, increased for those born to a father over the age of 29 years," McGrath said.

The study does have its weak points, however, including its inability to factor in other affects such as the higher likelihood of the father's death or serious illness during chidlren's developing years.

Source: Nature World News


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