A new study by Indiana University and Sweden's Karolinska Institute has linked behavioral defects in children to conception by fathers over the age of 35.
While the common consensus has always been that women over the age of 30 should be careful when thinking of child-bearing; however, the new study of over 2.6 million participants is beginning to suggest that a man's sperm quality may also be a significant factor in a child's development.
The research is a breakthrough for parents, but also a warning against trying to conceive children too late in life.
"Among the findings: When compared to a child born to a 24-year-old father, a child born to a 45-year-old father is 3.5 times more likely to have autism, 13 times more likely to have ADHD, two times more likely to have a psychotic disorder, 25 times more likely to have bipolar disorder and 2.5 times more likely to have suicidal behavior or a substance abuse problem," according to researchers at Indiana University. "For most of these problems, the likelihood of the disorder increased steadily with advancing paternal age, suggesting there is no particular paternal age at childbearing that suddenly becomes problematic."
The study examined everyone born in Sweden from 1973 until 2001.