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Older parents are at a higher risk of having an autistic child

Studies have suggested that the firstborn child of parents that are older (more than 35 -40 years of age) is at an increased risk of ASD than younger parents (25-30 years). Maureen Durkin, an epidemiologist conducted a prospective population-based cohort study to determine whether advanced parental ages were risk factors for development of ASD. The study group was comprised of 1251 children aged 8 years with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD. The findings suggested a 3-fold increase in the risk in ASD for child born to older parents compared to the younger age group.

Durkin MS, Maenner MJ, Newschaffer CJ, Lee LC, Cunniff CM, Daniels JL, Kirby RS, Leavitt L, Miller L, Zahorodny W, Schieve LA. Advanced parental age and the risk of autism spectrum disorder. Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 1;168(11):1268-76. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn250. Epub 2008 Oct 21. PMID: 18945690; PMCID: PMC2638544.