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Children of Older Dads Fare as Well in School as Other Kids

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Men who become parents later in life are not putting their children at risk for academic problems, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Sweden found children born to fathers in their 50s performed no worse in school than kids with fathers in their 30s. The findings, they noted, challenge previous studies that suggested a father's older age can have a negative impact on his children's IQ.

In the study published online in PLoS ONE, researchers collected data on the school performance of more than 135,000 children in Stockholm. Researchers also considered how the social advantages of being raised by older parents would come into play in how well the children did in school.

"To the delight of fathers choosing to wait before having children, our results suggest that children of older fathers perform no worse in school," said study leader Anna Svensson, of the Karolinska Institute's Department of Public Health Sciences, in a news release. "When we studied children's final year-nine grades we could see no difference between children of fathers in their 50s and children of fathers in their 30s."

The children of fathers younger than 30 performed slightly worse in school than kids of other men. This could be explained by differences in the educational background of the parents, researchers said.

More information

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services has more on responsible fatherhood.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Karolinska Institute, news release, September 2011

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