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August 27, 2012

Aging Fathers

A report in the journal Nature stated that a father’s age, not a mother’s, at the time a child is conceived is the single largest contributor to the passing of new hereditary mutations to offspring. Epidemiological studies in Iceland show the risk of both schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders increases significantly with the father’s age at conception, and that the average age of fathers in Iceland at the time a child is conceived is on the rise; however, this demographic change is not unique to Iceland, and it raises the question of whether the reported increase in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis is at least partially due to an increase in the average age of fathers at conception.

Did recent findings linking hereditary mutations in children to their father’s age affect your decision on when to have children?

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