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Risk of Autism High in Children Born to Fathers over 40 Years of Age

by Savitha C Muppala on September 5, 2006 at 4:38 PM
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Risk of Autism High in Children Born to Fathers over 40 Years of Age

A new research from King's College London has suggested, it might be a risky proposition for men over 40 to have children, as the chances of autism in children is found to be high with advancing age of the father. The researchers indicated a link between certain mutations in the sperm of older men that enhances the risk of autism in the offspring.

The study discovered that the risk of developing autism was six times more for children born to fathers who are above 40, as compared to children born to men under 30, but there appears to be no such warning for older women. The fact that men were controlled by their biological clocks with respect to having children was proved further during a study of 130,000 children in Israel.

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Dr Abraham Reichenberg, one of the research team, said: "The sample size for the over-50s was small, so we added it to the result for fathers aged over 40, but our research suggests that very old fathers have around nine times the risk [of having a child with autism]. The research shows a linear effect - with every ten years, the risk doubles."

This study has been published in Archives of General Psychiatry.



Source: Medindia
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