Baby Mental Illness Chances Increases with Father’s Age

There has been some recent findings that the older the father’s age gets, the higher the chances of having a newborn acquiring a mental illness at a later stage in his or her life or at birth.

The cutoff age seems to be at around 40-years-old, where the chances of autism, schizophrenia, “birth defects, cleft lip and palate, water on the brain, dwarfism, miscarriage and decreased intellectual capacity” can ensue. Quite a lot to swallow, huh?

Well the stats get more serious.

“Children born to fathers 40 or older had nearly a sixfold increase in the risk of autism as compared with kids whose fathers were younger than 30, and children of fathers older than 50 had a ninefold risk of autism,” according to an article in Scientific American Magazine.

Children are born all the time – and people die all the time as well.  There has to be a balance.  The problem is that this equilibrium is offset when children are born with these birth-defects or acquire an inhibitory disease later in life due to the age of the child’s parent(s)  (As an aside, the chances of a baby getting Down Syndrome also increases as the mother’s age increases).  These problems and diseases are natural and can occur even if the father is young or below 30-years of age. 

Having a child and knowing that he or she will have one of these debilitating diseases later in life or throughout his or her life is one of the hardest things to deal with.  A good parent knows, however, that love must be unconditional for a child, because at the very least, it’s not the child’s fault.  That does not imply that it is the parent’s fault either— sometimes these things happen.  There isn’t always an explanation for things, but the healthcare system and physicians/other medical professionals are out there to make these issues easier to handle, and it’s nice to know that there are indiviuduals who are sensitive toward this subject and who understand a thing or two about how to make the child’s life better.  

A child’s life is a gift, so is life in general in all its forms, and although certain complications may occur, the child deserves all of the opportunities that any other child would receive and then some.  

The article that cites much of this information and goes into much greater detail can be found here


~ by jrn320afigueroa on March 28, 2009.

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