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Am J Hum Genet. 1986 Nov;39(5):648-60.

Paternal age and the occurrence of birth defects.


The association between paternal age and the occurrence of birth defects was studied using data collected in Metropolitan Atlanta. Paternal-age information for babies born with defects was obtained from birth certificates, hospital records, and interviews with mothers; for babies born without defects, the information was obtained from birth certificates. Several statistical techniques were used to evaluate the paternal-age-birth-defects associations for 86 groups of defects. Logistic regression analysis that controlled for maternal age and race indicated that older fathers had a somewhat higher risk for having babies with defects, when all types of defects were combined; an equivalent association for older mothers was not found. Logistic regression analyses also indicated modestly higher risks for older fathers for having babies with ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects and substantially higher risks for having babies with defects classified in the category chondrodystrophy (largely sporadic achondroplasia) and babies with situs inversus. An association between elevated paternal age and situs inversus has not been reported before; the magnitude of the estimated increased risk for situs inversus was about the same as that found in this study for chondrodystrophy.

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