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The age of the father can influence the mental health of the child

The age of the father can influence the mental health of the child

January 29, 2023

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry affirms that Children born to parents over 45 years of age are at higher risk of suffering from psychological disorders in the future .

The relationship between the age of parents and psychological disorders

The study confirms research carried out in the past, which claimed that there was a relationship between certain disorders such as autism and children born to parents of advanced age.

According to the data published in this research, children of parents who have had their children past 45 years of age have a greater risk (up to 34 percent) of suffering from mental disorders such as bipolarity or schizophrenia.


In addition, this study also confirms that, compared to the descendants of young parents, the descendants of parents over 45 suffer more academic problems: a low IQ , low academic grades or a low educational level.

The study was carried out between Indiana and Sweden

The research has been carried out by the University of Indiana, in the United States, together with the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden. The data that were used were extracted from Swedish hospitals, and medical records of births produced between 1973 and 2001 were used. In total, 2.6 million subjects were counted.


The study compared the data provided by children born to parents over 45 years of age and the data provided by descendants of parents between 24 and 29 years of age.

Results

This study is not the first to find an association between the advanced age of the parents and mental disorders or educational problems of their children.

The results of the sample of Swedish subjects seem to indicate that there are numerous psychiatric problems and learning difficulties that can be suffered by the descendants of parents in old age , including: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicide attempts and problems of substance abuse or autism.

Among the results obtained, it can be noted that there is 3.5 times more chance of suffering from autism if the parents are over 45 years old when the children are born, 2.5 times more likely that the children will develop suicidal behavior or 13 times more likely to suffer ADHD.


The causes

Past research already claimed that The aged uterus of a woman over 40 is a risk factor for her children , but this study seems to indicate that the sperm of the father older than 45 years can also bring negative consequences for the later development of the child, that is, the low semen quality of parents in advanced age can affect their children.

As the researchers say, men transmit to their children a higher percentage of spontaneous mutations (not hereditary) that cause psychological problems and future learning disorders. As the man gets older, he is exposed to more environmental toxins that can lead to DNA changes in his sperm.

Spaniards increasingly delay age to have children

The social conditions experienced by the population in Spain and the difficulties of leaving home and becoming independent before the age of 30, favors that the age of reproduction of Spaniards has changed in recent years, and there are many parents who have their first child after 30 .

Therefore, despite the fact that the delay in the age of procreation is seen as normal, health professionals have raised the alarm on numerous occasions and point out that procreation at late ages has negative consequences for the child.

Bibliographic references:

  • JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 Mar; 71 (3): 301-9. doi: 10.1001 / jamapsychiatry.2013.4081.

What is the most important influence on child development | Tom Weisner | TEDxUCLA (January 2023).


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