A group of U.S. and UK researchers have suggested that children born to older fathers are likelier to develop autism. The study of 132,271 Israeli children implies the possibility that men also have time constraints on procreation.
Among those whose fathers were between 15 and 29 when they were born, the rate of autism was six in every 10,000, rising to nine in every 10,000 when fathers were aged 30 to 39 (1.6 times higher).
In the group whose fathers were aged 40 to 49, the rate rose to 32 in 10,000 (5.75 times higher).
The rate appeared to be even higher when fathers were aged over 50, but the researchers said the sample size was very small.
The mother’s age did not appear to influence the chances a child would have autism.