Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Delayed fathering and risk of mental disorders in adult offspring.

Early Hum Dev. 2011 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Delayed fathering and risk of mental disorders in adult offspring.
Krishnaswamy S, Subramaniam K, Ramachandran P, Indran T, Abdul Aziz J.

University of New England, Locked bag 4, NSW 2351, Australia.

INTRODUCTION: Delayed parenting and child bearing at a very young age impose various risks to development of the offspring.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the association between disparities in parental age and increased risk factor for common mental disorders in the progenies during adulthood.

METHODOLOGY: The Malaysian Mental Health Survey (MMHS) was analysed for this study. Respondents were asked to estimate the age of their parents at their birth. Presence of common mental disorders (CMD) was determined by referring to the diagnosis given by the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised (CIS-R) instrument in the Programmed Questionnaire System (PROQSY) format. The association between parental age disparities and CMD was studied using logistic regression.

RESULT: Fifty three percent (n=1972) of the MMHS respondents (N=3666) knew the age of both parents and were included in the study. Three percent (n=53) had significant disparity in parental age, or a difference of 11years or more. Respondents born to parents with significant age disparity had a prevalence rate of 24% (95% CI=22.12-25.89) for CMD in comparison to 6% (95% CI=5.99-6.11) in their counterparts and 3.4 times higher risk for CMD, after adjusting for demographic factors, paternal age at birth and presence of family history of mental disorders. Amongst those born to older fathers aged 50 and above, the presence of disparity increased the rate for CMD to 42% (95% CI=39.82-44.18).

DISCUSSION: Disparity in parental age was significantly associated with increased risk for CMD. Various psychosocial factors contributing to age disparity in both the father and the mother could predispose to stress and mental health problems.

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