Thursday, 4 June 2015

Younger Father, Healthier Child

Increased father’s age is a known risk factor for schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and multiple other genetic disorders. Now a study of individuals whose fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fathered their lineage on average under age 30 finds about 13% were more likely to survive to adulthood compared to those whose ancestors fathered their lineage at over 40 years. Females had a lower probability of marriage if their male ancestors were older.

Those are conclusions in Fitness Consequences of Advanced Ancestral Age over Three Generations in Humans by Hayward AD, Lummaa V, Bazykin GA published in PLoS ONE 10(6) which reports on a study of seven pre-industrial Finnish populations.

These findings are consistent with an increase of the number of accumulated de novo DNA mutations although the authors point out that other explanations are possible.

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