Friday, September 05, 2008

Older dads beget more bipolar kids

Older dads beget more bipolar kids
By Tom Avril

Inquirer Staff Writer

A warning for the older man who seeks fatherhood: the child may be more likely to develop bipolar disorder when grown up.

Researchers analyzed the records of 13,428 patients in Sweden who had the severe mood disorder, comparing each case with five control patients who did not have the disease.

People who had been born to fathers 55 or older were 37 percent more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder than were the offspring of fathers who were 20 to 24 years at the time of birth. For early-onset cases, defined as those in which the disorder manifests before age 20, the effect was stronger.

Children born to fathers 50 and older were 2.63 times as likely to suffer from an early-onset case, according to results described in the current issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Advanced paternal age had already been linked with schizophrenia and autism in the offspring.



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