Children of older dads have lower IQs

Offspring of younger fathers score higher in intelligence tests

A review of children’s medical records has revealed a link between IQ scores and the age of the father.

Children born to a 20-year-old father scored an average three points higher in intelligence tests than those whose dad was 50 when they were born.

These findings, from medical records of 30,000 children, adds to several recent studies suggesting that the age of the father at conception can affect a child’s health. Older dads have been found to be more likely to have children with heart defects, autism, schizophrenia and childhood cancer.

Some scientists believe this is due to genetic mutations that build up in the sperm as men get older.

The age of fathers in Britain is rising. In 1993, 25 per cent of new fathers were aged 35-54, but by 2003, this had risen to 40 per cent.

Famous older fathers include John Simpson, the TV journalist, who had a son at 61, and the actor Sir Michael Gambon, who is to become a father again at 68, says the Independent.

The same study found that older mums have children with a marginally higher IQ than younger mums, but researchers put this down to better nurturing.

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