(Newser) - Are older dads more likely to have troubled children? A wide-ranging new study suggests yes, linking older fathers to an increased risk of a wide range of mental disorders as well as lower grades in school and a higher risk of drug problems. Children born to 45-year-old fathers were more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with autism compared to children born to 24-year-olds, 13 times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and 25 times more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, reports the BBC.
Child with autismThe increased risk remained even when researchers working with the medical and public records of millions of Swedish people controlled for every other factor they could think of. "We spent months trying to make the findings go away, looking at the mother's age, at psychiatric history, doing sub-analyses," the lead researcher says. "They wouldn't go away."
The researchers believe the problems are linked to mutated sperm, though experts not involved with the studyRead More »from Older Dad? Mental Illness Risk Goes Up