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Infants with Older Fathers at Risk for Lower Apgar Scores

Odds ratio of low Apgar score found to be 1.64 for fathers between 45 and 49 years old

WEDNESDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that infants born of older fathers, especially those 45 years or older, are at risk for having a lower Apgar score, according to a report in the July issue of Epidemiology.

Yuelian Sun, from the Danish Epidemiology Science Centre at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and colleagues used data from 70,347 couples having their first singleton infants and enrolled in the Danish Fertility Database to determine any association between paternal age and a one-minute Apgar score.

The investigators found a significant trend in paternal age and odds ratio for having an infant with an Apgar score between 1 and 3, with an odds ratio of 1.64 for fathers 45 to 49 years old, and 1.49 for fathers 50 years or older. Infants born to fathers between 45 and 49 years of age also had an increased tendency to have five-minute Apgar scores of less than 7.

"If advanced paternal age is causally linked to low Apgar scores in the offspring, this should be taken into consideration when planning procreation and in the selection of semen donors," the authors conclude.

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