Paternal Age as a Risk Factor for Low Birthweight

Department of Pediatrics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 97 Paterson Street, Room 435, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 06/2006; 96(5):862-6. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.066324
Source: PubMed


We examined associations between paternal age and low birth-weight in the US urban population.
Using a population-based sample of 4621 births, we used multiple logistic regression analysis to estimate associations between paternal age and low birthweight, controlling for maternal age, other demographic factors, and the child's gender.
When the child's gender and the mother's race/ethnicity, birthplace, parity, marital status, and health insurance type were controlled, teenaged fathers were 20% less likely and fathers older than 34 years were 90% more likely than fathers aged 20 to 34 years to have low-birthweight babies. The associations were significant when maternal age was also controlled. No racial/ethnic differences in associations between paternal age and low birthweight were found.
We identified paternal age as an independent risk factor for low birthweight in the US urban population, suggesting that more attention needs to be paid to paternal influences on birth outcomes and to the interactive effects of urban environments and individual risk factors on health.

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Available from: Julien Teitler, Feb 25, 2015
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    • "Furthermore, a New Zealand birth cohort study also found advanced maternal age to be associated with declining risks of educational underachievement, juvenile crime, substance misuse, and mental health problems (Fergusson & Woodward, 1999). In previous studies, older parental age has generally been shown to be a risk factor for children's development (Li & Chang, 2005; Liu et al., 2001; Reichman & Teitler, 2006), since older age is associated with a higher risk of low birth weight (Li & Chang, 2005; Reichman & Teitler, 2006), which is associated with motor developmental delay (Liu et al., 2001). One of the risks of being an older parent is the increase in the children's mortality rate (Donoso & Carvajal, 1999; Zhu et al., 2008), and if the mother's age at first birth was over 40, the rate of maternal health problems and birth complications was greatly increased (Gilbert et al., 1999). "

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    • "Paternal age, on the other hand, has received less attention although some research has found that men older than 35 years are twice as likely to be infertile as men younger than 25 (Ford et al., 2000). Some studies have also found associations between advanced paternal age and the risk of autism spectrum disorder (Reichenberg et al., 2006), schizophrenia (Malaspina et al., 2001), Down syndrome and other chromosomal anomalies (Fisch et al., 2003), autosomal dominant mutations (Friedman, 1981), congenital anomalies (Yang et al., 2006), preterm birth and low-birthweight (Zhu et al., 2005; Astolfi et al., 2006; Reichman and Teitler, 2006), miscarriage and fetal death (de la Rochebrochard and Thonneau, 2002). However, the associations reported between advanced paternal age and adverse birth outcomes have been somewhat inconsistent within the literature (Chen et al., 2008; Sartorius and Nieschlag, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The role of men in the childbearing decision process and the factors that influence men's childbearing intentions have been relatively unexplored in the literature. This study aimed to describe the factors that strongly influence the childbearing intentions of men and to describe differences in these factors according to men's age group. A telephone survey (response rate 84%) was conducted with 495 men between the ages of 20 and 45 living in an urban setting who, at the time of contact, did not have biological children. Men were asked about what factors strongly influence their intention to have children. Univariable and multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to determine if these factors were significantly associated with age. Of those sampled, 86% of men reported that at some point in the future they planned to become a parent. The factors that men considered to be most influential in their childbearing intentions were: the need to be financially secure, their partner's interest/desire to have children, their partner's suitability to be a parent and their personal interest/desire to have children. Men who were 35-45 years old had lower odds of stating that financial security (crude OR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.18-0.54) and partner's interest in having children (crude OR: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.33-0.99) were very influential, but had higher odds of stating that their biological clock (crude OR: 4.37, 95% CI: 1.78-10.76) was very influential in their childbearing intentions than men in the 20-24 year age group. The factors that influence men's intentions about when to become a parent may change with age. Understanding what influences men to have children, and what they understand about reproductive health is important for education, program and policy development.
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    • "Maternal age was grouped into three broad categories (,20, 20– 34 and .34 years of age) (Reichman and Teitler, 2006), raising the possibility of residual confounding by maternal age. Two Danish studies have reported that advanced paternal age was associated with an increased risk of very preterm birth (Zhu et al., 2005) and low Apgar score (Sun et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Most previous studies on the effect of paternal age have focused on the association of advanced paternal age with congenital anomalies. The objective of this study was to determine whether paternal age is associated with the risk of adverse birth outcomes, independent of maternal confounders. We carried out a retrospective cohort study of 2 614 966 live singletons born to married, nulliparous women aged 20-29 years between 1995 and 2000 in the USA. Multiple logistic regressions were applied to estimate the independent effect of paternal age on adverse birth outcomes. Compared with infants born to fathers aged 20-29 years, infants fathered by teenagers (<20 years old) had an increased risk of preterm birth [odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10, 1.20], low birth weight (OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.19), small-for-gestational-age births (OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.22), low Apgar score (OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.27), neonatal mortality (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.49) and post-neonatal mortality (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.82). Advanced paternal age (> or =40 years) was not associated with the risk of adverse birth outcomes. Teenage fathers carry an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes that is independent of maternal confounders, whereas advanced paternal age is not an independent risk factor for adverse birth outcomes.
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