A decade-long study finds that if you’re 45-plus, you should be aware of the potential reproductive consequences.
If you worry about becoming a father later in life was that you wouldn’t be able to kick the footy in the park with your kids, you may have larger concerns.
Data collected by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention from more than 40 million live births between 2007 and 2016 has found that older fathers are more likely to have babies with health problems.
Published at bmj.com, the study found that premature birth, low birth weight and seizures were some of the problems reported in the data.
What’s an ‘older’ father? Well, compared with fathers aged 25 to 34, babies whose fathers were aged 45 to 54 had a 15 per cent increased risk of premature birth, and an 18 per cent increased the risk for seizure. Babies from this generation of father were also 14 per cent more likely to be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit and 9 per cent more likely to need antibiotics. Risks also increased the higher the father’s age. The study was controlled for maternal age and other factors.
“Men should no longer think their runway is unlimited,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Michael L. Eisenberg of Stanford University, while also stressing he would never tell a man he was too old to be a father. “Now we know there are some risks that you should take into account when starting a family.