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Medicineworld.org: Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies?

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Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies?

Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies?
Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies? "A study reported in the September, 2006 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry may give older prospective fathers pause before plunging into biological parenthood. The authors found a significant increase in the risk of autism and similar disorders as fathers got older." Dr. Michael Craig Miller, Editor In Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter wrote: "It's true that medical technology and general improvements in health have made life much more enjoyable for people in middle to late life. Maybe 50 is the new 30 when it comes to some aspects of aging. But a healthy and active lifestyle does not make 50-year-old sperm the new 30-year-old sperm."

"The increased risk of passing on any genetic vulnerability to a child is significant when you are older. When it comes to autism, however, the numbers are sobering. A man younger than 30 has no more than a 1 in 1,000 chance of fathering a child with autism. But the risk bumps up to approximately 3 in 1,000 for a man in his 40s and 5 in 1,000 above age 50. If a father in his fifties has a son, the risk of autism may approach 1 in 100." "Until recently, health care professionals have focused almost exclusively on the mother's age as a risk factor for health problems in the child. But we now know that the father's age also adds to the risk of potentially devastating diseases. And there is no practical way to detect these illnesses during pregnancy. For those weighing the risks, the decision can be wrenching. Adoption and in some instances a sperm donation may be acceptable alternatives to older fathers wanting to build a healthy family." Michael Craig Miller, M.D. is Editor in Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. He is also associate doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. He has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years and teaches in the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program.


Posted by: Dorje    Source




Did you know?
Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies? "A study reported in the September, 2006 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry may give older prospective fathers pause before plunging into biological parenthood. The authors found a significant increase in the risk of autism and similar disorders as fathers got older." Dr. Michael Craig Miller, Editor In Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter wrote: "It's true that medical technology and general improvements in health have made life much more enjoyable for people in middle to late life. Maybe 50 is the new 30 when it comes to some aspects of aging. But a healthy and active lifestyle does not make 50-year-old sperm the new 30-year-old sperm."

Medicineworld.org: Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies?

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