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Paternal Age and Perinatal Outcomes in the US

BMJ; ePub 2018 Oct 31; Khandwala, et al

Advanced paternal age is associated with negative effects on both mothers and offspring, a recent study found. The retrospective, population-based cohort study included 40,529,905 documented live births between 2007 and 2016 in the US. Primary perinatal outcomes were gestational age, birth weight, Apgar score at 5 minutes, admission to a neonatal intensive care unit (ICU), need for postpartum antibiotics, and seizure. Primary maternal outcomes were gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Secondary outcome was the number of preventable perinatal events. Researchers found:

  • Men aged ≥45 years had increased odds of fathering infants born premature, of low birth weight, and with a low Apgar score compared with younger counterparts.
  • The offspring of fathers aged ≥55 were also more likely to require assisted ventilation and admission to a neonatal ICU.
  • The odds of gestational diabetes was also higher for pregnancies involving fathers aged ≥45 years.
  • 13.2% of premature births and 14.5% of low birth weight infants born to older fathers were estimated to be prevented if all men elected to have children before age 45 years.


Khandwala YS, Baker VL, Shaw GM, Stevenson DK, Lu Y, Eisenberg ML. Association of paternal age with perinatal outcomes between 2007 and 2016 in the United States: Population based cohort study. [Published online ahead of print October 31, 2018]. BMJ. doi:10.1136/bmj.k4372.