Children born to older fathers may be at increased risk for blood and immune cancers as an adult, says a new study. However, the study found no association between having an older mother and these cancers.
"The lifetime risk of these cancers is fairly low - about one in 20 men. Still, the study does highlight the need for more research to confirm these findings and to clarify the biologic underpinning for this association," said lead author Lauren Teras from American Cancer Society.
The researchers analyzed data from women and men enrolled in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort.
Among 138,003 participants, there were 2,532 cases of hematologic cancers identified between 1992 and 2009. The researchers found a strong, positive association with paternal age among participants without siblings.
In that group, those whose fathers were aged 35 years or older at the time of their birth were at 63 percent higher risk of hematologic malignancies compared to those whose fathers were younger than 25.
The study points to the need for further research to better understand the association between paternal age at birth and hematologic malignancies.
The study appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology.