Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Federal Study Links Autism to Parental Age

Federal Study Links Autism to Parental Age
Date: Wednesday November 5, 2008
Posted in: Education, Funding, Health
Tagged: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Centers for Disease Control

The first-born children of older parents are three times more likely to be on the spectrum than those born to their younger counterparts. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control, the study found that children born to women older than 35 and men of 40, but the results are not conclusive due to other environmental factors which may affect those outcomes. Though the results of the study are statistically significant, an epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health warns that it should not bear heavy burden on family planning decisions.

Those factors that bear further investigation are: spontaneous mutations that occur in sperm as men age; fertility treatments that involve hormonal treatments and manipulations of genes during conception; and neurotoxins built up in the tissues of older, breastfeeding mothers, Durkin said.

Each 10-year increase in maternal age was associated with a 20 percent increase in autism risk and a decade added to the father’s age kicked up the risk to 30 percent, according to the study.

Read the whole article here: Parents’ age linked to autism in their children

Detroit News is also carrying the findings here: Parents’ age a factor in autism, research says

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