Put on your science hats because this article’s going to have that annoying “less than or equal to” sign in it.
Clinical Endocrinology, a journal about – duh – endocrines and clinics and stuff, published a study that says older dads create kids that are taller, slimmer, but with higher cholesterol.
The study was done by a team of eggheads from New Zealand: Tim Savage, José G. B. Derraik, Harriet L. Miles, Fran Mouat, Paul L. Hofman, and Wayne S. Cutfield.
The team studied 277 children aged 3-12 who were born to fathers aged 18-51. They did a whole bunch of scientific junk like DEXA-derived body composition
Clinical assessments were height and weight adjusted for parental measurements, DEXA-derived body composition, glucose homoeostasis tests and hormonal profiles.
Results found that – if we’re to be frank here, and we are – that older dads make taller kids, kids with lower BMIs, and kids with a predisposition to higher cholesterol. And I can tell because you’re sitting back with a smirk and your arms crossed that you don’t believe me, so here’s all the scientific talk in list form:
- Children born to fathers aged 31–35 (P = 0·009) and >35 years (P = 0·021) were 2 cm taller than those of fathers aged ≤30 years.
- Children of fathers aged >35 years at childbirth had a lower body mass index (BMI) (−0·32 SDS) than offspring of fathers aged 31–35 (−0·01 SDS; P = 0·043) and ≤30 (0·22 SDS; P = 0·019).
- LDL-C concentrations in children born to fathers aged >35 years were 11% and 21% higher than in children of fathers aged 31–35 and ≤30 years, respectively (P < 0·01).
- Total cholesterol to HDL-C ratio was also higher among the children of fathers aged 31–35 (12%;P = 0·014) and >35 (16%; P = 0·004) years at childbirth compared with the ≤30 group.
- Bonus! HOMA-IR in girls (but not boys) born of fathers aged 31–35 (0·99) and >35 years (1·11) indicated better insulin sensitivity compared with offspring in the ≤30 group (1·63;P < 0·05).
So, there you have it. Science!
We’ve reported on age-based fatherhood studies a handful of times and have now found that older dads are a mixed-bag: they’re more likely to create grandkids with autism, but give kids longer telomeres, which helps guard against cancer. Then again, they’ll pass along genetic mutations if there are any present, and (this next one hurts) they create less intelligent kids.
Any old dads with tall kids out there? Got a home cholesterol-testing kit you can use to confirm these results for us?