Risk of Autism in Children Can be Seen from the age of the Grandfather


Autism in ChildrenDo not delay getting married while still young, especially for men. For a man who has children after the age of 50 years will not only increase the child’s risk of developing autism, but also for his grandson. This was stated in a recent study conducted by the Karolinska Institutet, in Sweden.

Compared with men who have children at the age of 20 years, older men are 1.79 times likely to have a granddaughter who is autistic and 1.67 times have a grandson who is autistic.

“It can be accumulated if both grandparents and yourself have children at an older age. But clearly the issue of when you should have a child is actually quite complex,” said lead researcher Emma Frans who earned his Ph. D. it in the field of medical epidemiology from Karolinska Institutet.

The conclusion came after Frank and his colleagues studied patient registration data in Sweden since 1932, including data information about the grandparents of 37,000 children including 6,000 children diagnosed with autism.

Then why is the man who ‘should’ be blamed? “Men plays a significant effect on the development of autism in the offspring because of their reproductive cells that are more prone to mutate,” said Frank as quoted from ABCNews.

Female reproductive cells also divide and replicate but only 24 times in their lifetime, whereas the male reproductive cells continue to proliferate. When men steps on the age of the 20’s, reproductive cells divide as many as 200 times but when they are already 40, that number will increase to 600 times.

“And every time the  cells divide, a risk  of error occurs that can result in the manifestation of the mutation,” said Frans.

In response to this study, Lori Warner, director of the HOPE Center for Autism, at Beaumont Hospitals in Michigan said, “This study is important but does not mean that old couple can not have children. Research team also found that pollution and prenatal folic acid may contribute to the development of autism, so there are many factors that can be considered “.

Moreover, these findings are only based on experiments conducted in a  lab so despite Frans and his colleagues were able to identify correlations, they can not find any causation or causality.

The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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