As women increasingly pursue careers and take advantage of fertility treatments to postpone childbirth into their 30s and 40s, they do place their offspring at risk for countless disorders and diseases. This occurs, however, not because of the woman's age but because women in their 30s... tend to couple off with older men...More at the Wall Street Journal link.
Older fathers made headlines several years ago when researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine reported that a man over 40 is almost six times as likely as a man under 30 to father an autistic child. Since then, research has shown that a man's chances of fathering offspring with schizophrenia double when he hits 40 and triple at age 50. The incidence of bipolarity, epilepsy, prostate cancer and breast cancer also increases in children born to men approaching 40. Both dwarfism and Marfan syndrome (a disorder of the connective tissue) have been linked to older fathers...
Women are born with somewhere between one million and two million eggs, 75% of which are depleted by puberty. Eggs die daily—which may sound bleak—but those that endure contain an original genetic component that was created at the very start of a woman's life.
Sperm, by contrast, are more fly-by-night. After each ejaculation, a man regenerates millions of new sperm cells, and with each cellular replication, the chances rise of an error in genetic coding...
26 June 2011
Childhood disorders and paternal age
Excerpts from a WSJ article reviewing older data suggesting that children of older fathers may be more prone to a variety of problems: