Thursday, April 11, 2013

Too Old to Be a Dad?

Studies in Nature magazine are linking Down's syndrome, schizophrenia, autism, to babies who have older fathers. In an article in the American Journal of Men’s Health babies with older fathers are more likely to have certain cancers, cleft lip, and low and premature births. When a man and women are around there 20s they pass about 20 novo defects but when the man is 65 the number has doubled to 40s while the women remain the same.

There not only medical concerns they are also social concerns. “Even if you’re Paul McCartney’s child, you get ripped off if your father dies when you’re in your early 20s,” says Julianne Zweifel, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin.
Older fatherhood isn’t all bad: testosterone rates drop about 1% per year as men age, making them less reactive and more patient, and a professionally established middle-aged man is likely to have more time and money to devote to his kids than a twenty-something who’s just getting started. My parents had me later in life but I think they made wiser decisions because of it.

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