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Are Your Sperm Past The Sell-By Date?
These days, parents who look 9,000 years old are getting more and more common. First, there are weirdos like the lady who lied about her age to get in-vitro, then gave birth at 67. People have thought men could have kids well into their 70s -- and even beyond, if they can still get a woody. But, writes Roni Rabin in The New York Times, maybe that's not such a good idea:

Some studies suggest that the risk of sporadic single-gene mutations may be four to five times higher for fathers who are 45 and older, compared with fathers in their 20s, Dr. Simpson said. Over all, having an older father is estimated to increase the risk of a birth defect by 1 percent, against a background 3 percent risk for a birth defect, he said.

Even grandchildren may be at greater risk for some conditions that are not expressed in the daughter of an older father, according to the American College of Medical Genetics. These include Duchenne muscular dystrophy, some types of hemophilia and fragile-X syndrome.

A recent study on autism attracted attention because of its striking findings about a perplexing disorder. Researchers analyzed a large Israeli military database to determine whether there was a correlation between paternal age and the incidence of autism and related disorders. It found that children of men who became a father at 40 or older were 5.75 times as likely to have an autism disorder as those whose fathers were younger than 30.

“Until now, the dominant view has been, ‘Blame it on the mother,’ ” said Dr. Avi Reichenberg, the lead author of the study, published in September in The Archives of General Psychiatry. “But we found a dose-response relationship: the older the father, the higher the risk. We think there is a biological mechanism that is linked to aging fathers.”

Posted by aalkon at February 28, 2007 4:54 AM

Comments

We don't want to get into the habit of faulting parents of any age for mutations: These are by definition statistically erratic, eternal players in the fight for survival and improvement. The best screwdriver you'll ever drink in Vegas is the one you buy with winnings.

The reason to mock old parents is that they're ASSHOLES. See also: Hefner, Bousada, others... MANY others, with more climbing aboard every day.

(PS- Beautiful day in LA today, it's a shame the world can't live here)

Posted by: Crid at February 28, 2007 7:34 PM

I think far too many of them already do. Especially when driving from the beach to Silverlake when it's not 3am.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2007 9:30 PM

The reason to mock old parents is the cost of college tuition. At least I can pay the darn loans off before I'm retired.

Have kids in your forties? You do the math.

Posted by: MarkD at March 1, 2007 9:46 AM

Old parents gross me out.

Posted by: PurplePen at March 1, 2007 10:20 AM

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