The father factor

Children of older dads are at higher risk of having health problems at birth, research suggests.

“We tend to look at maternal factors in evaluating associated birth risks, but this study shows that having a healthy baby is a team sport,” said Michael Eisenberg, MD, a Stanford Health Care urologist, associate professor and senior author of a study published Nov. 1 in the British Medical Journal.

Data from more than 40 million births showed that newborns of older-than-35 dads had more health risks.

Newborns of dads under 35 needed intensive care about 6 percent of the time. Babies of older-than-45 dads needed it 8 to 10 percent of the time.