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Paternal Age and Autism Associated in Family-Based Sample


A recent article by Abraham Reichenberg and co-workers based on Israeli births in the 1980's reported a significant association between paternal age at birth and a child's risk for developing autism. The study reported that as paternal age increased, so did the risk of autism spectrum disorder. In response, R M Cantor, JL Yoon, J Furr and C Lajonchere, Vice President of Clinical Programs for Autism Speaks, investigated whether data from the autism genetic resource exchange, or AGRE, would show the same association. The results of their analysis were published in a letter to Molecular Psychiatry, and suggest that increased paternal age is associated with increased autism risk, and that further analyses of large samples are needed to identify and disentangle the autism risk factors for children of older fathers. Click here to read the letter (PDF).