5-speed listening (Older Fathers - Level 5)

Babies of older fathers may be less healthy






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A study in the USA reports that babies of older fathers may be more likely to have health problems. Stanford University scientists studied data on 40,529,905 births between 2007 and 2016 to find out if a father's age affects his child's health. Researchers found that compared to babies born to fathers aged 25 to 34, babies born to fathers over the age of 45 were at greater risk of having health problems. These included being born prematurely, having a low birth weight or being admitted to an intensive care unit. Babies born to older fathers were generally not as healthy.

One doctor said more research was needed to prove that older fathers conceive less-healthy babies. The doctor said: "I think it's important to understand that the risks we are seeing are modest. So for an individual, the risk may not change much." The research data could show that governments might want to be aware of these risks. He said: "There may be public health implications of men...waiting longer to conceive." The doctor concluded that: "While the oldest father ever is 96, this research suggests that the risk to child and mother may increase if fathers conceive later."

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