Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Fathers Too, Were Much Older Than Average --A study of classical autism in 1980

The Fathers Too, Were Much Older Than Average --A study of classical autism in 1980

1: J Autism Dev Disord. 1980 Sep;10(3):293-7. Links
Maternal age and infantile autism.Gillberg C.
In a total population survey of childhood psychosis in the region of Goteborg, 20 children (2 in every 10,000) fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for infantile autism formulated by Rutter. There was a male preponderance with 15 boys and 5 girls. Eighty-five percent of the mothers were older than average. Mean maternal age in the autistic sample was 30.7 years, compared with 26.0 years in the general population. The difference is statistically significant at the .1% level. There was a strong tendency toward increasing risk of autism in the child with increasing maternal age. The fathers too were much older than average.PMID: 6927656 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Labels: fathers mean average age of 34, infantile autism, older fathers, older mothers

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At 10:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really interesting information and it is important for people to be informed. Do you work with an autistic organization? Do you have any videos about this? I work with a video site for non profits and we only have one autistic video at this time. I would like to include more.

At 6:21 PM , Blogger concerned heart said...

Dear Goodtube: Here is a link to a video on the topic: An old video of Avi Reichenberg:

One cause might be mutations in the sperm as men age, Reichenberg said. "Those mutations might be accumulating with age and therefore transmitted from the father to the child," he said. "Another possibility is that mechanisms that the body has to protect itself from mutations are not working that well with age."

It might also be that an improper or defective gene is being activated, Reichenberg noted. These mechanisms operating alone or in concert may be the reason for the association of older parental age and autism, he said.

In their study, Reichenberg's team collected data on the age of the fathers of 318,506 people born during the 1980s in Israel. The age of the mother was known for 132,271 of these people as well. Among these individuals, all the men and three-fourths of the women were assessed by the draft board at age 17 for any psychiatric disorders.

Among those whose father's age was the only one known, 208 children had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, as did 110 in the group where the age of both parents was known, the researchers found.

When the researchers compared the parents' age when they had their child to the cases of autism among the children, they found 34 cases among 60,654 kids born to parents aged 15 to 29 years old, 62 cases among 67,211 kids born to parents aged 30 to 39 years old, 13 cases among 4,106 kids born to parents aged 40 to 49 years old and one case among 190 kids born to parents older than 50.

Reichenberg's group found the advancing age of fathers was associated with increased risk of autism. In fact, the odds of a child having autism spectrum disorder were nearly six times greater for children of men aged 40 and older, compared with men aged 29 years and younger. The older age of mothers was not associated with the risk for autism.

"This phenomenon of older fathers having autistic kids should be explored further, because it might give us a clue about the genetic mechanism that contributes to the development of autism," Reichenberg said.

At 9:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

all autistic kids I have seen are from younger parents. I think this is all lies. I fathered a girl in my late 40's and she is healthy and very intelligent. This is par for the course though in our country. Discriminate against people for any reason you can dream up. I have been a victim of discrimination on the job since I passed 25. I now have one thing left in life and that is to be a good parent, which I am, a much better one than a 20 something year old who cannot stay at home long enough to be a good parent. Next they will probably want to castrate all men over 25 years old. Your studies are flawed.


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