It is nothing new to say that the father’s age can affect the health of his children, and especially that these children may have genetic problems. This appears to be confirmed in an article published in Nature, in which the authors evaluated the existence of “de novo” genetic mutations related with the father’s age and the extent to which these may be the cause of disease in his children.  “De novo” mutations are mutations that do not pre-exist in the parents, but rather arise in the gametogenesis process, possibly due to environmental influences, which could include the age of the parent.

Why are these tutations more likely in men?

These mutations are more likely in men, because the sperm precursor cells continue to develop and divide throughout their entire lives. As a result, that environmental influence could be more apparent, because those cell divisions could contribute to the development of various genetic mutations.

To conduct the study, the authors sequenced the entire genome of 78 Icelandic fathers, and found that in those with an average age of 29.7 years, the percentage of de novo mutations is 1.20 × 10-8 nucleotides per generation, producing around two mutations per year; thus, these mutations could double every 16.5 years.

According to the authors, their study provides objective data on the effect of age on the possible mutations that may arise in men, and on to what extent this could determine the risk that their children could suffer some diseases, such as schizophrenia or autism.

Our Observatory has published and study (see HERE) that concluded that motherhood is increasingly being delayed for cultural reasons where exigence of women work market should be highlighted. We also commented in a recent article that this exigence “Inducing a woman to renounce her legitimate choice to live her maternity at the best age for it…”, comments we make, in some measure, extensive to men.

 

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