Saturday, February 27, 2010

Meta-analysis of Paternal Age and Schizophrenia Risk in Male Versus Female Offspring.

Schizophr Bull. 2010 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Meta-analysis of Paternal Age and Schizophrenia Risk in Male Versus Female Offspring.
Miller B, Messias E, Miettunen J, Alaräisänen A, Järvelin MR, Koponen H, Räsänen P, Isohanni M, Kirkpatrick B.

1Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA.

Introduction: Advanced paternal age (APA) is a reported risk factor for schizophrenia in the offspring. We performed a meta-analysis of this association, considering the effect of gender and study design. Methods: We identified articles by searching Pub Med, PsychInfo, ISI, and EMBASE, and the reference lists of identified studies. Previously unpublished data from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort (NFBC 1966) study were also included. Results: There were 6 cohort studies and 6 case-control studies that met the inclusion criteria. In both study designs, there was a significant increase in risk of schizophrenia in the offspring of older fathers (>/=30) compared to a reference paternal age of 25-29, with no gender differences. The relative risk (RR) in the oldest fathers (>/=50) was 1.66 [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.46-1.89, P < 0.01]. A significant increase in risk was also found for younger fathers (<25) in males (RR = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.02-1.14, P = 0.01) but not females (RR = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.97-1.14, P = 0.28). The population attributable risk percentage (PAR%) was 10% for paternal age >/=30 and 5% for paternal age <25. Discussion: Both APA (>/=30) and younger paternal age (<25) increase the risk of schizophrenia; younger paternal age may be associated with an increased risk in males but not females. This risk factor increases the risk of schizophrenia as much as any single candidate gene of risk. The mechanism of these associations is not known and may differ for older and younger fathers.

PMID: 20185538 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


Friday, February 19, 2010

Paternal age and mortality in nonaffective psychosis.

Schizophr Res. 2010 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Paternal age and mortality in nonaffective psychosis.
Miller B, Pihlajamaa J, Haukka J, Cannon M, Henriksson M, Heilä H, Huttunen M, Tanskanen A, Lönnqvist J, Suvisaari J, Kirkpatrick B.

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia, United States; Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

INTRODUCTION: Advanced paternal age (APA) is associated with an increased mortality in the general population, and is a risk factor for schizophrenia. We aimed to test if APA is associated with increased mortality in people with nonaffective psychosis. METHODS: Subjects with nonaffective psychosis who were born in Helsinki, Finland, between 1951 and 1960 (n=529) were followed until June 2006 (age 46 to 55). Hazard ratios were calculated, adjusting for subject age, age of the other parent, and gender. RESULTS: In females but not males, there was a significant increase in all-causes mortality (HR=7.04, 95% CI 1.60-31.04, p=0.01) and natural deaths (HR=7.64, 95% CI 1.20-48.66, p=0.03) in offspring of fathers age >/=40, after adjustment for potential confounders. In males but not females, there was a significant decrease in suicides (HR=0.89, 95% CI 0.81-0.97, p=0.01) with increasing maternal age (as a continuous variable). In the entire sample, there was also a trend for decreased all-cause mortality (HR=0.96, 95% CI 0.92-1.01, p=0.08) with increasing maternal age (as a continuous variable). DISCUSSION: Both paternal and maternal age may affect mortality risk in offspring with psychosis. The specific disorders and pathway(s) associated with the increase in natural cause mortality remain to be determined. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 20163936 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tick tock goes the male biological clock

Tick tock goes the male biological clock
by Raquel on February 18, 2010 · 0 comments


Tick tock tick tock. As soon we women reach the age of 30, we hear the biological ticking away as we try to hold on to our fertility just for another while. But what about men? Don’t they have a biological clock to listen to?

I mean, look at the following oldies celebrity dads who fathered kids beyond their 60th birthday:

David Letterman, at age 61
Donald Trump, 62
Sylvester Stallone, 62
Rod Stewart, 63
Michael Douglas, 64
Mick Jagger, 65
Hugh Hefner, 65
Paul McCartney, 66
Clint Eastwood 66.
Sir Michael John Gambon, 68
Woody Allen, 73
Charlie Chaplin, 73
Larry King, 75
Anthony Quinn, 81
Surely for men, age doesn’t matter for fertility.

However, there is increasing evidence that this is not the case, and that men too, should listen to the ticking clock starting at midlife. Researchers report that the sperm quality of men decreases with age, and that fertility starts to wane when they reach the 30s, and plummets when they reach their 40s. During the time, the overall chance of fathering a child drastically decreases. And if a pregnancy is ever achieved, the likelihood of miscarriage is increased. In addition, the resulting offspring would have a higher likelihood to suffer from genetically related disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, autism and low IQ. This is according to a study by researchers at the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction in Paris, France who looked at more than 1,200 couples.

So what’s reason behind the male biological clock?

Researchers think it is due to some kind of “sperm decay” which is characterized by DNA damage and abnormalities. Men start producing sperms at puberty at a rate of 100 million new sperms per day. During the process, DNA is copied and duplication from one sperm to another. During the countless sperm-copying processes, mistakes occur and DNA mutations happen. These errors accumulate with age, leading to decreasing sperm quality.

According to fertility specialist Dr. Carl Herbert

“These subtle copying defects cause a long list of diseases in the children of older fathers. Lesch Nyhan syndrome, polycystic kidney disease and hemophilia A are among the most well known. For fathers over age 40, the risk of having a child with a disease-causing mutation is similar to the risk the mother has for a child with Down syndrome.”

Aside from age, other health factors, including body weight and diabetes, can also adversely affect sperm quality.

According to Dr. Harry Fisch, urologist at Columbia University, and author of the book The Male Biological Clock

“…couples are waiting longer to have children, and advances in reproductive technology are allowing older men and women to consider having children. The lack of appreciation among both medical professionals and the lay public for the reality of a male biological clock makes these trends worrisome.”

He further advises older dads to “have a thorough history and physical examination focused on their sexual and reproductive capacity. Such examination should entail disclosure of any sexual dysfunction and the use of medications, drugs, or lifestyle factors that might impair fertility or sexual response.”

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Paternal factors and low birthweight, preterm, and small for gestational age births: a systematic review.

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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Feb;202(2):103-23.

Paternal factors and low birthweight, preterm, and small for gestational age births: a systematic review.
Shah PS; Knowledge Synthesis Group on determinants of preterm/low birthweight births.

Collaborators (11)Shah PS, Ohlsson A, McDonald SD, Hutton E, Shah V, Beyene J, Frick C, Scott F, Murphy KE, Newburn-Cook C, Allen V.
Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Departments of Pediatrics and of Health Policy, Management and Evaluations, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

A systematic review of the risks of a low birthweight (LBW), preterm, and small-for-gestational-age births in relation to paternal factors was performed. Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and bibliographies of identified articles were searched for English-language studies. Study qualities were assessed according to a predefined checklist. Thirty-six studies of low-to-moderate risk of bias were reviewed for various paternal factors: age, height, weight, birthweight, occupation, education, and alcohol use. Extreme paternal age was associated with higher risk for LBW. Among infants who were born to tall fathers, birthweight was approximately 125-150 g higher compared with infants who were born to short fathers. Paternal LBW was associated with lower birthweight of the offspring. In conclusion, paternal characteristics including age, height, and birthweight are associated with LBW. Paternal occupational exposure and low levels of education may be associated with LBW; however, further studies are needed. Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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