Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older Fathers More Likely To Have Autistic Children

Date:
September 5, 2006
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Children of men age 40 and older have a significantly increased risk of having autism spectrum disorders compared with those whose fathers are younger than 30 years, according to an article in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Children of men age 40 and older have a significantly increased risk of having autism spectrum disorders compared with those whose fathers are younger than 30 years, according to an article in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Autism is characterized by social and language abnormalities and repetitive patterns of behavior, according to background information in the article. Autism and related conditions, known collectively as autism spectrum disorders, have become increasingly common, affecting 50 in every 10,000 children as compared with five in 10,000 two decades ago. This increase is partially due to higher levels of awareness and changes in diagnosis processes, but could also reflect an increase in incidence of autism, according to the authors. Older parental age has previously been linked to abnormalities in the brain development of children; however, few studies have effectively examined the effect of mothers' and especially fathers' ages on autism.

Abraham Reichenberg, Ph.D., of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, and colleagues evaluated this association in children born during the 1980s in Israel. All men and three-fourths of the women born in these years were assessed by the draft board at age 17, during which time any psychiatric disorders were recorded. Dr. Reichenberg and colleagues obtained draft board information and the age of the father for 318,506 individuals; age of the mother was available for 132,271 of those.

Two hundred and eight individuals in the larger group (a rate of 6.5 per 10,000) and 110 in the group with both maternal and paternal ages (8.3 per 10,000) had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, according to the information in the draft board registry. Among the paternal age groups of 15 to 29 years, 30 to 39 years, 40 to 49 years and older than 50 years, there were 34 cases, 62 cases, 13 cases and one case, respectively, of autism spectrum disorders. Advancing age among fathers was associated with increased risk of autism. This association persisted after the researchers controlled for year of birth, socioeconomic status and the mother's age, such that the odds of autism spectrum disorder were nearly six times greater among children of men age 40 and older than those of men 29 years and younger. Older age among mothers was not associated with autism after researchers factored in the effect of the father's age.

The authors discuss several possible genetic mechanisms for the paternal age effect, including spontaneous mutations in sperm-producing cells or alterations in genetic "imprinting," which affects gene expression. "It is important to keep in mind, however, that age at paternity is influenced by the sociocultural environment and varies across societies and over time," they continue. "In a given population, a change in the sociocultural environment could produce a change in paternal age at birth. In theory, it could thereby lead to a change in the incidence of genetic causes of autism."

"Although further work is necessary to confirm this interpretation, we believe that our study provides the first convincing evidence that advanced paternal age is a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Older Fathers More Likely To Have Autistic Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904160625.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2006, September 5). Older Fathers More Likely To Have Autistic Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904160625.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Older Fathers More Likely To Have Autistic Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904160625.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins