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Older fathers' children less intelligent: research

Older fathers' children less intelligent: research

Children fathered by older men are likely to be less intelligent than the offspring of younger dads, Australian and U.S. scientists have found in a report published yesterday.
The surprise result contrasted sharply with earlier studies showing that older mothers produced children more likely to record above average intelligence scores, the researchers concluded.
Lead scientist John McGrath, from the Brisbane-based Queensland Brain Institute, said the result was a world first and had implications for men in Western societies who have delayed fatherhood until their 40s or older.
"The results were quite startling as it was thought that the age of the father was less of a concern compared to the age of the mother," McGrath said.
"Now we are getting more evidence of the age of the father being just as important - the older a dad is, the worse his children tend to do in intelligence tests."
Researchers examined data collected on 33,000 children in the United States between 1959 and 1965 fathered by men aged from 15 to 65.
They found that the children of older dads performed less well in intelligence tests conducted at age eight months, four years and seven years.
The researchers said previous studies had linked older fathers to an increased risk of health problems in their children, including schizophrenia, autism, dyslexia, epilepsy and dwarfism.
However, the study published in the U.S. journal Public Library of Science Medicine is the first to suggest there is also a link with general intelligence.


Updated : 2021-03-05 06:43 GMT+08:00