Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Close  
  • share this

Delaying fatherhood can impact children’s health at birth, finds study

/ 01:35 PM November 04, 2018

Image: AleksandarNakic/Istock.com via AFP Relaxnews

New United States research has found that delaying fatherhood until later in life could have a negative effect on both children and mothers.

The new large-scale study by researchers at Stanford University looked at data on all 40,529,905 live births that took place in the U.S. between 2007 and 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT

After taking into account factors such as age of the mother, maternal smoking, race, education and number of prenatal visits, the researchers found that as the age of the father increased, so did the risk of the infant being born prematurely, having a low birth weight, and requiring healthcare support after delivery such as assisted ventilation, admission to neonatal intensive care or antibiotics.

Published by The BMJ, the study showed that children of fathers aged 45 years or more were born 0.12 weeks earlier and had a 14 percent higher risk of being premature (less than 37 weeks) compared to those whose fathers were aged 25 to 34 years.

FEATURED STORIES

These children were also born 20.2 grams lighter and had a 14 percent higher risk of low birth weight (less than 2500 grams) than infants born to younger fathers. They also had a 14 percent higher risk of being admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit and an 18 percent higher risk of having seizures, compared to infants with fathers aged 25 to 34 years.

Newborns of fathers aged 55 years or older also tended to score less well on the Apgar test, a test used to assess the health of a child at birth.

The team found that not only did a father’s age impact his children’s health, it also appeared to affect the mother’s health.

The risk of gestational diabetes for pregnant women increased as the age of the father increased, with women pregnant with the child of a man aged 55 years or older having a 34 percent higher odds of gestational diabetes.

Although women are often advised not to delay motherhood for too long because of the added health risks for themselves and their babies, the researchers estimated from the new study that around 13 percent of premature births and 18 percent of gestational diabetes in pregnancies were due to the advanced age of the father. They suggested that changes in the sperm of older men could be responsible.

The team stressed that as this is an observational study, no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and that the overall risk of these negative outcomes still remains low. However, they added that the new findings emphasize the importance of including men in preconception care.

“A significant number of these negative birth outcomes were estimated to be prevented if older fathers had elected to have children before the age of 45 years. The risks associated with advancing paternal age should be included in discussions regarding family planning and reproductive counseling,” they concluded. JB

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED STORIES:

LOOK: Dad shares struggle of changing kids’ diapers in men’s restrooms

Frequently talking with your teen about sex can encourage safe sex later in life

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: age, Fatherhood, gestational diabetes, premature babies, Sperm
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
business

Dow dives 2.2%, moves into the red for 2018

November 21, 2018 06:34 AM

sports

Pacquiao, Roach clash over reunion team up

November 21, 2018 06:28 AM

newsinfo

How cats get clean, stay cool

November 21, 2018 05:42 AM

newsinfo

Palace assures Jalandoni he won’t be arrested

November 21, 2018 05:34 AM

entertainment

‘Ang Probinsyano’ brouhaha: PNP to stop lending equipment

November 21, 2018 05:32 AM



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.