Older fathers’ children risk

Children of older fathers ‘more likely to die early’

Children of older dads are twice as likely to die before they are adults, new research shows.

A study of 100,000 children showed that those born to the over-45s were much less likely to live to be 19 than those born to men in their late 20s.

Increased rates of birth defects, autism, schizophrenia and epilepsy are thought to be the biggest obstacles for children born to ageing dads.

The Danish study is new evidence that the biological clock affects men as well as women when it comes to having children.

The University of Aarhus study tracked the health of more than 100,000 first-borns for up to the first 18 years of their lives.

During that time 831 died, with the majority of deaths in the first year after birth.

Analysis found a clear link between cause of death and the father’s age, with children of teenage fathers and of over-45s up to 88% more likely to die than those born to men aged between 25 and 29.

Children of older men were most likely to have died from birth defects such as heart problems, the European Journal of Epidemiology reports.

In Britain around one in ten babies is born to men aged 40 and over.

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