An international study led by researchers at University of Queensland in Australia has found that children born to older fathers were at a greater risk of developing mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, compared to children born to younger fathers.
The researchers observed nearly 3 million children across the world and found that children born to fathers who were over 45 years old had a 34 percent greater risk of developing mental disorders compared to children born to men between 25 and 29 years old.
This would mean that not just women, but even men have a 'biological clock' in which the risk of genetic mutations increase as men age.
"For a long time, it was thought the age of the father didn't make a difference - we were wrong. The biological clock ticks for men. The father's age may have implications for the health of the offspring. There are many benefits for having an older father - sometimes they have more stable jobs or may have had kids already and be better dads. But we are starting to pick up the risks associated with older fathers", lead researcher Professor John McGrath said.