Navigation Links
Birth Problems Linked to Teenage Fathers
Date:2/7/2008

Risky behaviors may damage sperm, experts say

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that seems to turn conventional wisdom on its head, researchers report that babies of teenage fathers are more likely to be born with health problems than babies born to men over 40.

"We found that being a teenage father was associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth, low birth weight and neonatal deaths," said Dr. Shi Wu Wen, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa Department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine.

In the study, Wen's team used data from the National Center for Health Statistics to collect information on 2,614,966 births in the United States between 1995 and 2000. To isolate the effects of the teen fathers' age on the outcome of pregnancy, the researchers compensated for the mother's contribution by choosing women 20 to 29 years old.

Women in this age group are less likely to be affected by fertility problems, which can have an effect on birth outcomes, Wen noted. "We also excluded infants with birth defects," he said. "This may explain why we didn't see adverse effects amongst older fathers."

The researchers found that babies born to teenage fathers had a 15 percent increased risk of premature birth, a 13 percent increased risk for low birth weight, and a 17 percent increased risk for being small for gestational age.

These babies also had a 22 percent increased risk of dying within the first month after birth, and a 41 percent increased risk of dying in the first four weeks to one year after birth, although the absolute risk was small -- less than 0.5 percent, the researchers said.

Babies of fathers 40 and older did not experience the same risks, Wen said.

"The public has paid attention to teenage pregnancy, but mostly to teenage mothers," Wen said. "But here we show that teenage fathers are also at high risk. The public and health agencies should pay attention to teenage fathers."

The findings are reported in the February issue of Human Reproduction.

Wen said it's not clear why infants of teenage fathers are at greater risk for health problems. However, he suspects that social factors such as income and lifestyle play a role.

"Young fathers have less stable employment," Wen said. "In addition, teenagers are at risk for more risky behavior like smoking and alcohol and drug use. These are known to be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.

"Teenage fathers may also be emotionally less stable," he added. "We know that stress is a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes as well."

One expert agrees that more attention should be paid to teenage fathers and their contribution to the health of their children.

"Paternal age is an ignored and understudied and underestimated contributor to neonatal outcomes," said Dr. F. Sessions Cole, director of newborn medicine and head of the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Louis Children's Hospital. "It's 50 percent egg and 50 percent sperm that form the baby, and 100 percent of the blame is attributed to mothers," he said.

"The risk-taking behaviors of adolescent males probably are a significant part of the reason why their sperm are associated with more adverse neonatal outcomes," Cole said. "These risk-taking behaviors impact sperm in ways we don't know."

Cole believes teenage fathers, like teenage mothers, should receive prenatal counseling. "That way, a prospective father can get some sense of what he can do to optimize the outcome," he said.

More information

For more on healthy babies, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



SOURCES: Shi Wu Wen, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada; F. Sessions Cole, M.D., director, newborn medicine, and head, neonatal intensive care unit, St. Louis Children's Hospital; February 2008 Human Reproduction


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Another Reason Not to Smoke While Pregnant: Birth Defects
2. More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
3. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
4. Steroids Seem Safe for Babies at Risk of Early Birth
5. Many U.S. Women Unaware of Birth Defect Risks
6. Moms Low Cholesterol Tied to Preemie Births
7. IVF technique enables pregnancy without multiple births, Stanford researchers find
8. Fetal cell transplant could be a hidden link between childbirth and reduced risk of breast cancer
9. Sue Birth Control Companies for Your Health, Says American Life League
10. Maternal Mortality Declining in Middle-income Countries; Women Still Die in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Low-income Countries
11. UF researchers track genetic journey of HIV from birth to death
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Students interested in video can get a jump start on ... earn a $1,000 scholarship and have his or her video posted on the GenCure ... May 31, with the winner announced on June 9. , The competition is designed ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... Allegheny ... experience of patients who seek access to the Network’s programs and services in the ... primary or specialty care appointments will be offered one for that same afternoon. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... For ... serves Lawrenceville, New Jersey and the surrounding area, is inaugurating a charity ... (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease or motor neurone disease, is ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... For the second consecutive year, all five ... have earned “Top Doctor” awards. Dr. Mark Leondires, Dr. Spencer Richlin, Dr. Joshua ... by their peers for the 2017 list based on their exceptional patient care ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... , ... The 21st Century Cures Act’s Impact on Medical Devices:, What You ... 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET, http://www.fdanews.com/21stcenturycures          , What do ... this year? , The passage of the act means devicemakers will be scrambling to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan 18, 2017 Research and Markets ... by Product, by End User - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, ... ... 2015 and is expected to reach $5,491 million by 2022, growing at ... North America was the leading regional market in global ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 18, 2017  Adaptive ... machines, announced today a new partnership with Hyatt Place ... guests by providing ASTI LectroFan sleep therapy machines in ... "Obviously one of the most important parts of having ... Wicks , general manager of Hyatt Place Nashville/Downtown. "We,re ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017   Regenicin, Inc. ... company specializing in the development and commercialization of regenerative ... and organs, recently reported the Company,s operating results for ... As the Company described in its recent ... year of substantial accomplishments. The Company,s contract laboratory completed ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: