Children’s mental health linked to father’s age

A population-based cohort study of all individuals born in Sweden (>2.6 million) between 1973 and 2001 suggested increased risk of autism, psychosis and bipolar disorders among those born to fathers older than 45.

Sibling comparisons firmed up the association showing those born to older fathers also had higher risk of ADHD, suicide attempts, substance abuse and poor academic outcomes compared to those born to fathers aged 20–24.

Genetic mutations occurring during spermatogenesis may cause morbidity in offspring, the authors said.

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