Men should start a family before the age of 35 to avoid health risks for children, says a big study.
Researchers, who traced 40 million babies, found an increase in the complications of a birth when fathers reach their mid 30s, and an increase was higher than after the age of 45. For decades, women have been warned of the risks to their children's health if they wait until they are older. The new study shows that the same applies to men.
Babies born to 35 to 44-year-olds were 5% more likely to be born prematurely or with low birth weight than those born to 25 to 34 year olds.
With fathers aged 45 or over, 14% were more babies requiring intensive care, 14% more born prematurely, 18% more who suffered seizures and 14% more with low birth weight . If a father was 50 or older, 28% of babies needed intensive care and 10% more newborns had to be placed on aircraft. Professor Michael Eisenberg, Stanford University of Medicine in the United States, said: "This study shows that having a healthy baby is a team sport and the father's age also contributes to the health of the baby. It was very surprising that there was a link between the father's advanced age and the chance that the mother would develop diabetes during pregnancy. "
The report, published in the British Medical Journal, says that the risk factor is increasing because, with every year a man aging, he acquires two new mutations to DNA its sperm.
Previous studies show that women with older partners also take longer to get pregnant and are more likely to get involved.
But Professor Eisenberg said that the absolute risks are still relatively low.
Official figures show that around 18% of children born in England and Wales were 40 or over and that the average age of fathers in 2016 was 33.3, almost four years older than in 1974. Average mothers age has also increased by four years to 30.4 over the same period. Daily Mail