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Negative effect on child of mother's age


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You often heard about how a mother being advanced in age is bad for the child she is bearing and I'm wondering, is that exclusively because it raises the risk of miscarriage or are there actually negative health effects that are passed on to the child as a result of the mother's age and what are the negative effects specifically?

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Quoted info is summarized from the link which includes more:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20045756#:~:text=Babies born to older mothers,conditions or fetal chromosomal abnormalities.

Quote
  • You're more likely to have a low birth weight baby and a premature birth. Premature babies, especially those born earliest, often have complicated medical problems.
  • <...>
  • The risk of chromosome abnormalities is higher. Babies born to older mothers have a higher risk of certain chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome.
  • The risk of pregnancy loss is higher. The risk of pregnancy loss — by miscarriage and stillbirth — increases as you get older, perhaps due to pre-existing medical conditions or fetal chromosomal abnormalities. Research suggests that the decrease in the quality of your eggs, combined with an increased risk of chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, could increase your risk of miscarriage.
  • <...>
  •  studies suggest that men's ages at the time of conception — the paternal age — also might pose health risks for children.

There's also a higher risk of stillbirth, but it all really depends on the individual mother, her genetic profile, her lifestyle, general health, and quite a bit of luck regarding which egg happens to get fertilized in that specific coitus event. 

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4 hours ago, iNow said:

Quoted info is summarized from the link which includes more:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20045756#:~:text=Babies born to older mothers,conditions or fetal chromosomal abnormalities.

There's also a higher risk of stillbirth, but it all really depends on the individual mother, her genetic profile, her lifestyle, general health, and quite a bit of luck regarding which egg happens to get fertilized in that specific coitus event. 

All these issues seem to relate either to chromosomal abnormalities or to the process of pregnancy itself. If the foetus has the normal complement of chromosomes and the mother has no problems in the pregnancy, it would seem there are no issues for the child, once it is born.  

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Yes, if you ignore age-related issues, there are no age-related issues. 

There is also a range of increased risk (in terms of morbidity and mortality) for the mothers starting around age 35.

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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

Yes, if you ignore age-related issues, there are no age-related issues. 

I’m glad I wasn’t drinking milk when reading this as I’d have squirted some out my nose 

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9 minutes ago, iNow said:

I’m glad I wasn’t drinking milk when reading this as I’d have squirted some out my nose 

I wish I had been drinking milk.
Whisky really stings.

3 hours ago, exchemist said:

it would seem there are no issues for the child, once it is born.  

That depends on perspective.
For example, Down Syndrome is more likely in the children of older mothers.
Most people would say it's a health issue.

It is absurd to ignore it .

But there's also an increase in cardiovascular problems in children of older mothers.
It may or may not be chromosomal but it's certainly an issue.
https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP275472
 

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11 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

I wish I had been drinking milk.
Whisky really stings.

That depends on perspective.
For example, Down Syndrome is more likely in the children of older mothers.
Most people would say it's a health issue.

It is absurd to ignore it .

But there's also an increase in cardiovascular problems in children of older mothers.
It may or may not be chromosomal but it's certainly an issue.
https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP275472
 

My actual sentence, part of which you have snipped out of the whole, thereby altering its meaning, was : " If the foetus has the normal complement of chromosomes and the mother has no problems in the pregnancy, it would seem there are no issues for the child, once it is born. "

Down's syndrome involves an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21. 

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1 hour ago, exchemist said:

My actual sentence, part of which you have snipped out of the whole, thereby altering its meaning, was : " If the foetus has the normal complement of chromosomes and the mother has no problems in the pregnancy, it would seem there are no issues for the child, once it is born. "

Down's syndrome involves an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21. 

My actual post, part of which  you have snipped out of the whole, thereby altering its meaning, included this
 

 

13 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

But there's also an increase in cardiovascular problems in children of older mothers.

And that's probably not chromosomal.

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4 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

My actual post, part of which  you have snipped out of the whole, thereby altering its meaning, included this
 

 

And that's probably not chromosomal.

I have not altered the meaning of what you wrote in any way. Whereas your cutting the part of my sentence which actually already addresses the point you go on to make, does alter its meaning.  

 

Edited by exchemist
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38 minutes ago, exchemist said:

I have not altered the meaning of what you wrote in any way

Except that you cut out the bit that shows that there is an effect on children born to older mothers which is not chromosomal.

And the "meaningful" bit of your sentence was the bit that elicited this response
 

16 hours ago, CharonY said:

Yes, if you ignore age-related issues, there are no age-related issues. 

If I was in your position,  I'd stop digging.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/18/2021 at 8:30 PM, CharonY said:

Yes, if you ignore age-related issues, there are no age-related issues. 

There is also a range of increased risk (in terms of morbidity and mortality) for the mothers starting around age 35.

Well, that's a little glib, exchemist was making a valid point and I'm curious whether the point can hold up when evidence is examined.

The point being that, yes, advanced maternal age increases the chance of chromosome related issues, but is it so that children of older mothers who do not end up having chromosomal problems will suffer no negative health effects relative to children of young mothers. Or, in brief, does maternal age make no health difference if a chromosomal issue doesn't happen.

Does anyone know whether there's evidence refuting this hypothesis?

Now, John Cuthbert referenced a study that shows non-chromosome related health effects, but the study is in rats. It's not nothing, it shows that at least in rats there can be some non-chromosome related mechanism, still it's not humans.

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I think the view is a bit limited there. Or perhaps the phrasing is unclear. There is a general correlation of the age of either parent with chromosomal issues, but also mutations (i.e. sub-chromosomal issues). So depending on how you define chromosomal issues (which, btw, can be very subtle)  it can still influence the child's health. I.e. genetics-related issues on many levels are associated with the age of the parent.

But even ignoring the plethora of non-chromosomal issues, I am not sure what to make of the claim that as long as there are no chromosomal issues it would be fine. I could also say more broadly that if there are no genetic issues, then it is fine. But we do know that these issues increase with age, so it reads a bit weird to me.

Going back on topic, though, the majority of health issues associated with older parents are actually not large-scale chromosomal issues, but often likely unknown mutations that can increase the risk of autism, schizophrenia, leukemia and some other conditions.

I should also point out that especially autism and schizophrenia tend to be more closely associated with the father's age. Studies have shown that the mutation rate in the paternal germ line exhibit more mutation than the maternal, so might qualify the OP in that regard, too.

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