The dangers of older fathers

I bookmarked this article a while back, about how “scientists” have decided (calculated, determined, whatever) that children born of men over the age of 45 die at twice the rate of those born of younger fathers.

As a man who fathered his first, and currently only, child at 44 and as someone who (now aged 49) would not object to hearing the patter of tiny feet once again, I must say that this shock revelation is rather disturbing.

Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned in here before, I am a man with a throbbingly healthy disregard for most of what modern “scientists” have to say about how I should live my life. I therefore don’t believe a word of it and await the day when I read about how older fathers raise spectacularly healthy and insanely intelligent children. But me aside, this kind of news, especially when the paper decides to use headlines such as

Children are almost twice as likely to die before adulthood if they have a father over 45, research has shown.

must potentially be very frightening for many couples.

They then go on to explain that

A total of 100,000 children born between 1980 and 1996 were examined, of whom 830 have so far died before they reached 18, the majority when they were less than a year old.

The way I read it, that’s 0.83% of children died before age 18 and most of them before they were a year old. One has to assume that a fair proportion of those deaths were from causes other than having an old git for a dad? They don’t bother explaining. So, if a dinosaur like me has managed to father a child who is now five years old, what does that mean? I should be worried that she might not reach 18 or I should assume she’s one of the 99.17% of kids that live a normal life despite the geriatric father?

Just to confuse matters even more they add that

The research also found higher death rates among children of the youngest fathers, especially those below the age of 19.

Aha! So now you can’t be old, but you can’t be young either! I see, now it all makes sense. They did attempt to explain the young deaths though with

However, the study said these differences were explained by the risks of teenage motherhood and poorer diet and lifestyle.

Okay. So old dads kill (less than 1% of) kids by being old and having crappy sperm, maybe. That’s a bad thing. Young people kill their (no idea how many) kids by being young and stupid. That’s “howeverable”, not worth making a fuss about.

Tell you what I think, “Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent”, (almost certainly younger than 45), your article SUCKS and perhaps you might like to think about the impact such tripe could possibly have on people as old as, but not as thick-skinned and cynical as, me.

Down’s syndrome we know about, everybody knows about that so don’t use it to try and beef up your pathetic copy. The rest you can shove where the sun doesn’t shine!

Where do they they find these reporters? And those “scientists”?

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2 thoughts on “The dangers of older fathers

  1. According to this article:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/health-news/older-fathers-have-healthier-offspring-779146.html

    …there is absolutely no risk. It also gives the following examples:

    “Jonathan Dimbleby became a father again last year aged 62 when his second wife, Jessica Ray, 31, gave birth to a daughter, Daisy.”

    “Douglas was 56 when his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, then 31, gave birth in 2000 to the first of the couple’s two children.”

    “The German supermodel was 30 when she gave birth to her first child, Leni, in 2004. Klum had already split from the child’s father, Flavio Briatore, who was 54.”

    I’d say there’s time for you to have another 4 of 5 sprogs yet! I’m sure your better half will be overjoyed to hear that :)

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