&to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/359/13144_birth.html' target=_blank>Children born to older fathers are more likely to develop schizophrenia when they grow up, suggests the largest study of the issue to date.
A team of British and Swedish researchers have shown that for each extra decade in a father’s age at the time of his child’s birth, the child is almost 50% more likely to suffer from schizophrenia later in life, informs New Scientist.
According to Medical News Today, the study involved over 700,000 people born in Sweden between 1973 and 1980. The analysis was based on records of people admitted to hospital between 1989-2001 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other non-affective psychosis.
There was a strong association between increased paternal age at conception and their offspring's risk of schizophrenia, which remained even after taking account of a range of other factors that could have affected the results.
Overall, 15.5% of cases of schizophrenia in this group may have been due to the patient having a father who was aged over 30 years at birth, say the authors.
Career demands and other factors have resulted in couples postponing having children. In England and Wales the average paternal age has increased from 29.2 in 1980 to 32.1 in 2002.