Opposite differential risks for autism and schizophrenia based on maternal age, paternal age, and parental age differences
AuthorByars, SG; Boomsma, JJ
Source TitleEvolution Medicine and Public Health
PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS
University of Melbourne Author/sByars, Sean
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsByars, S. G. & Boomsma, J. J. (2016). Opposite differential risks for autism and schizophrenia based on maternal age, paternal age, and parental age differences. EVOLUTION MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH, 2016 (1), pp.286-298. https://doi.org/10.1093/emph/eow023.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Effects of maternal and paternal age on offspring autism and schizophrenia risks have been studied for over three decades, but inconsistent risks have often been found, precluding well-informed speculation on why these age-related risks might exist. METHODOLOGY: To help clarify this situation we analysed a massive single population sample from Denmark including the full spectrum of autistic and schizophrenic disorders (eliminating between-study confounding), used up to 30 follow-up years, controlled for over 20 potentially confounding factors and interpret the ultimate causation of the observed risk patterns using generally accepted principles of parent-offspring conflict and life-history theory. RESULTS: We evaluated the effects of paternal age, maternal age and parental age difference on offspring mental disorders and found consistently similar risk patterns for related disorders and markedly different patterns between autistic and schizophrenic disorders. Older fathers and mothers both conferred increased risk for autistic but not schizophrenic disorders, but autism risk was reduced in younger parents and offspring of younger mothers had increased risk for many schizophrenic disorders. Risk for most disorders also increased when parents were more dissimilarly aged. Monotonically increasing autism risk is consistent with mutation accumulation as fathers' age, but this explanation is invalid for schizophrenic disorders, which were not related to paternal age and were negatively correlated with maternal age. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: We propose that the observed maternally induced risk patterns ultimately reflect a shifting ancestral life-history trade-off between current and future reproduction, mediated by an initially high but subsequently decreasing tendency to constrain foetal provisioning as women proceed from first to final pregnancy.
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References