Older fathers more likely to have bipolar kids

Filed under: Just For Dads, Your Pregnancy, Health & Safety: Babies, Medical Conditions, Development/Milestones: Babies, In The News

Children born to men who are older than the ripe old age of 30 are more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder, according to a new study. The results of the study, published in the Archives of General Psychology, suggest that the risk increases as the age of the father increases. Bipolar disorder is more commonly known as manic depression. Symptoms of the disorder include periods of extreme happiness offset by mood swings of severe depression and hopelessness.

The reason for the connection? According to Emma Frans of Sweden, who led the study, it could be that older men have more degraded sperm. The Swedish research team used a national medical registry of 14,000 who had the disorder along with five people without the disorder for each person in the registry to uncover the connection. After factoring for the mother's age, the results indicated that those with fathers over 30 had an 11% increase in risk and those with fathers as old as 55 had a 37% increased risk. Frans was quick to point out that the results shouldn't keep older men from fathering children all together, but that they should be aware of the increased risks.

Older fathers have also been linked to autism and schizophrenia.


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.