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Can J Public Health. 2003 Mar-Apr;94(2):88-92.

Is paternal age associated with an increased risk of low birthweight, preterm delivery, and multiple birth?

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Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.



To determine if paternal age elevates the risk of low birthweight (< 2500g, LBW), preterm birth (< 37 weeks gestation), and multiple gestation among mothers whose age does not predict an elevated risk.


Population data on birth outcome, maternal age and paternal age was obtained from Alberta Health and Wellness for all births 1990-1996.


Among women aged 25 to 29, regardless of parity, there was no linear relationship between paternal age and preterm birth or LBW. However, multiple birth rates increased with increased paternal age (p < 0.01). Among singleton births, advanced paternal age (>50 years) increased the risk of LBW and preterm birth (p < 0.05).


Paternal age is not a risk factor for LBW or preterm delivery among low risk women. The increased risk of multiple birth with increased paternal age, regardless of parity, requires confirmation among other populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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