Old Dads May Play a Major Role in Increasing Autism

Illustration for article titled Old Dads May Play a Major Role in Increasing Autism

Men can continue to reproduce late in life with little or no risk to themselves. But being an old dad might have serious repercussions for the child—a study published in the journal Nature found a that older fathers are more likely to have a kid with autism or schizophrenia because of random mutations that develop in their genes as they age.

Advertisement

It's not a reason not to sire a kid later in life—a guy in his 40s has a 2 percent chance of having a kid with one of these disorders. But the study does point out that the recent autism boom has something to do with the rising average age of fathers. Sorry old man dads, you could account for as much as 30 percent of cases.

There was no such correlation for older mothers, though there are a whole slew of risks to carrying a child at a more advanced age. The study does, however, debunk the myth that most of the responsibility for passing on developmental problems lies in the genes of an old mom. While these mamas still have a higher risk for having a baby with Downs Syndrome, the psychological and developmental issues come from daddy. In short, having a kid in your 40s might not mean being the oldest dad at graduation, but it does open your offspring up to a host of potential developmental issues. [New York Times]

Advertisement

Image credit: Panco971/Shutterstock

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Braden1991
Braden1991

I didn't even read this post because of how false it is. This has nothing to do with age. It has to do with the food we eat, such as fast food, GMO, animal meat that has been indulged with steroids, etc. The only reason age plays in this is because the more of it we eat and drink the more it stays in our bodies, thus killing us younger and giving our children birth defects. Quit being stupid fucks and save yourself and your future children. McDonalds and Pizza Hut aren't worth it.