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Late fatherhood associated with increased birth defects – BMJ

Late fatherhood associated with increased birth defects – BMJ

Stanford, USA: Having a healthy baby is a team sport with equal contribution from both the partners. Birth defects in neonates are positively associated with increasing age of the father.

A new study published in BMJ reports that babies of older fathers may be associated with a variety of increased risks of birth defects including low birth weight and seizures. Moreover, the study also suggests that that the age of the father can affect the health of the mother during pregnancy, specifically her risk for developing diabetes.

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The adverse effect has a positive correlation between the age of father and the health of the neonatal. Older a father’s age,  greater is the risk.

Data from more than 40 million births showed that babies born to fathers of an “advanced paternal age,” which roughly equates to older than 35, were at a higher risk for adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, seizures and need for ventilation immediately after birth. Men who were 45 or older were 14 percent more likely to have a child born prematurely, and men 50 or older were 28 percent more likely to have a child that required admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and the likelihood that their infant would need ventilation upon birth increased by 10 percent.

The researchers organized the information based on the fathers’ age — younger than 25; 25 to 34; 35 to 44; 45 to 55; and older than 55 — and controlled for a variety of parameters that might skew the association between the father’s age and birth outcomes, such as race, education level, marital status, smoking history, access to care and the mother’s age.

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The data suggested that becoming the father at age 35, slightly increases in birth risks. With every year that a man ages, he accumulates on average two new mutations in the DNA of his sperm but birth risks for infants born to fathers of the subsequent age tier showed a sharper increase.

The author believes that the findings will create a general awareness both the public and health officials. and guide couples planning a family.

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Source: With inputs from The BMJ

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