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Paternal Age and Risk of Autism in an Ethnically Diverse, Non-Industrialized Setting: Aruba
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Author: Ingrid D. C. van Balkom et al.

by Ingrid D. C. van Balkom, Michaeline Bresnahan, Pieter Jelle Vuijk, Jan Hubert, Ezra Susser, Hans W. Hoek


The aim of this study was to examine paternal age in relation to risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in a setting other than the industrialized west.


A case-control study of Aruban-born children (1990–2003). Cases (N?=?95) were identified at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, the only such clinic in Aruba; gender and age matched controls (N?=?347) were gathered from public health records. Parental age was defined categorically (=29, 30–39, 40–49, =50y). The analysis was made, using conditional logistic regression.


Advanced paternal age was associated with increased risk of ASDs in offspring. In comparison to the youngest paternal age group (=29y), risk of autism increased 2.18 times for children born from fathers in their thirties, 2.71 times for fathers in their forties, and 3.22 thereafter.


This study, part of the first epidemiologic study of autism in the Caribbean, contributes additional evidence, from a distinctive sociocultural setting, of the risk of ASD associated with increased paternal age.