Older mothers slightly more likely to have ASD kids


Research shows that older parents are more likely to have children with autism than younger parents. A study from Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia and Karolinska Institute in Sweden provides new information into how the risk associated with parental age varies between mothers’ and fathers’ ages. They also found that the risk of having a child with both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability is larger for older parent. Mothers’ and fathers’ advancing ages have different impacts on the child’s health risks. The rise in ASD is linked more to older moms than older dads.

Yes, but why?

“The open question at hand really is, what biological mechanisms underlie these age effects?’ explained Brian K. Lee, PhD, an assistant professor in the Drexel University School of Public Health and research fellow of the AJ Drexel Autism Institute, a senior author of the study. The risk of having a child with ASD has a more complicated relationship to age in women than in men. For women who have children before age 30, there is little risk of ASD. But after 30 something happens since the chance of developing ASD rises rapidly.

There could be many reasons

Multiple mechanisms could be in play. These include environmental risks for women over 30. Complications in pregnancy cold underlie the age issue. For men the increased risk is more linear and coincides with naturally occurring genomic alterations over a father’s lifetime.

Not an easy study to perform

“When considering risk factors, we can’t necessarily lump all ASD cases together, even though they fall under a broad umbrella of autism,” Lee noted. “We need to keep an open mind in case intellectual disability might be a marker of a different underlying mechanism.” Still, the overall risk is low. “The absolute risk of having a child with ASD is still approximately 1 in 100 in the overall sample, and less than 2 in 100 even for mothers up to age 45.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, International Journal of Epidemiology

ocd self test
Do you or a loved one feel like you might have a problem with OCD? Take the Self Test now to get more information.

The information provided on brainphysics.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of brainphysics.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Click here to read our complete Terms of Use.

Susbscribe to our free newsletter for information & inspiration


BrainPhysics.com Social