Teen Dads Risk Passing Genetic Mutations to Their Kids

New research indicates babies born of teen dads have an increased risk of birth defects.

Maggie Fox from NBC News reports that babies born of teen dads have an increased risk of birth defects. For very young parents, researchers say that the risk of mutation increases by 30 percent. Of course, that's a 1.5 percent risk bumped up to 2 percent risk. Still, people will usually opt for the better odds concerning the health and wellness of their children.

The research comes from Dr. Peter Forster of the University of Cambridge in Britain who led the study. His team didn't skimp on the data either; researchers looked into more than 24,000 parents and their offspring, ranging from age 10 to 70. In cases where the father of the child was 20 years or younger, the researchers found the child had many more mutations than those with older dads.

The risk of defects is comparatively low, but it would explain why mutations tend to occur more often in teen parents. Foster told NBC:

"However, for policymakers an increase in birth defects of half a percent across the population is a serious matter, and policymakers should continue to discourage teenage parenthood."

So, why are young fathers passing on these mutations more than older ones? Foster believes it has something to do with the germ cells. Women carry all the eggs they'll ever have from birth, whereas men continue to produce fresh sperm regularly.

There may be a connection with mutations and the sperm precursor cells, which men carry throughout their lives. There's still more research to be done on the subject, but the main take-away from this research is that men looking to procreate should do so between the ages of 20 to 35 in order to avoid a heightened risk of mutation.

Read more at NBC News.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less