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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

How old was dad when the child was born?

Posted by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM
Amy
  • 51 Replies

Whether it is you or your child who is on the spectrum, how old was the father (yours or your child's) when the child was born?

New study compared siblings born in Sweden over a 28-year period

This was a large population-based study that looked at all people born in Sweden over a 28-year period, from 1973 to 2001. To test how much of an influence the age of the father at conception was, the researchers compared children who had been born to older fathers with their older siblings - children who were born when the same father was younger.

After comparing family members, the researchers estimated risk for the following:

  • Autism
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Suicide attempt
  • Substance abuse
  • Low educational attainment.

They found that children born to fathers 45 years or older were at higher risk of developing all of these problems, compared with their siblings who were born when their fathers were between 20 and 24 years old.

Because the study examined siblings, the researchers ruled out genetic and environmental influences that could have caused one child to be more at risk of developing a psychiatric problem than another.

But these sibling-based comparison studies do have limitations and can provide some unreliable data.

For instance, the order in which different siblings are born could have an influence on their psychological development. This type of study also assumes that all of the children in a family are exposed to the same conditions growing up, when this might not be the case.

However, the researchers feel confident that their sibling-comparison results are consistent with the theory that genetic mutations caused by APA during fertilization are responsible for increased risk of psychiatric problems.

They conclude:

"The findings suggest that APA represents a risk of numerous public health and societal problems. Regardless of whether these results should lead to policy changes, clarification of the associations with APA would inform future basic neuroscience research, medical practice and personal decision-making about childbearing."

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:27 PM

33, should have been 34 but kids came too early. 

mustbeGRACE
by Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:29 PM
33

Not that old, but I think researchers need to also ask how old Mom and Dad's parents were when they had the them, too.
SamMom912
by Gold Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Im curious why you think thats an important question... Im just confussed... Are you curious how old MY parents were when they had me.. . ?? I was 35 when Sam was born. Hubby was 36 when he was born, but 35 when he was conceived.. Im guessing THATS the important one.. LOL... 

Quoting mustbeGRACE: 33 Not that old, but I think researchers need to also ask how old Mom and Dad's parents were when they had the them, too.


mustbeGRACE
by Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:50 PM
For instance someone has one of the conditions mentioned in the article theoretically caused by having a dad who's maybe 45.
Whatever her diagnosis, she marries a man who's 32 and has a child with autism.
Maybe her husband's age isn't a contributing factor. Maybe her dad's age was. Or if one of her grandfathers was older.
Mi_Chelly
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I personally fall under the "young" category. Both my parents were young when I was born (Mom 20, my dad 19, with my dad turning 20 two days later). I was 21 when my son was born.
ETA: I am dxed ADD with mild SPD 

My husband was young when our son was born, he was 26. I do not know the age of his father, when he was born, but I know my MIL was still under 30, she married an older man, so my FIL is a bit older, I would have to dig out my calendar to get his age and do the math... 
ETA: Husband is undx'ed ADHD, he knows now that he is, but just hasn't bothered to get the offical dx. 

mustbeGRACE
by Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:56 PM
My reply is general.
I don' see in my response to the age question where I commented to you specifically over anyone else.

Quoting mustbeGRACE: For instance someone has one of the conditions mentioned in the article theoretically caused by having a dad who's maybe 45.
Whatever her diagnosis, she marries a man who's 32 and has a child with autism.
Maybe her husband's age isn't a contributing factor. Maybe her dad's age was. Or if one of her grandfathers was older.
mustbeGRACE
by Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:58 PM
I am mobile.
It is impossible to correct anything.
johnns
by Johnna on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:59 PM
44
samomama
by Sally on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:01 PM

37.

emarin77
by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:02 PM

30, it is all hereditary not just how old the parents are

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