Paternal age and psychiatric disorders: Findings from a Dutch population registry

Jacobine E. Buizer-Voskamp, Wijnand Laan, Wouter G. Staal, Eric A.M. Hennekam, Maartje F. Aukes, Fabian Termorshuizen, René S. Kahn, Marco P.M. Boks, Roel A. Ophoff

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70 Scopus citations


Background: We measured the association between paternal age and schizophrenia (SCZ), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder (BPD) in the Dutch population. Methods: In total, 14. 231 patients and 56. 924 matched controls were collected and analyzed for an association with paternal age by logistic regression. Results: ASD is significantly associated with increased paternal age: Older fathers > 40 years of age have a 3.3 times increased odds of having a child with ASD compared to young fathers < 20 years of age. SCZ has significant associations for fathers aged > 35 years (OR = 1.27, 95% Confidence Interval: 1.05 and 1.53). For MDD, both younger and older fathers have increased odds. No association was found for BPD. Conclusions: The effects of paternal age as a risk factor are different for ASD and SCZ on one hand, and the affective disorders on the other hand. Different types of association might indicate different biological or psychosocial mechanisms. Late paternity (associated with predispositions to psychiatric disorders) seems the most probable explanation for the association with paternal age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Child development disorders, pervasive
  • Depressive disorder, major
  • Paternal age
  • Schizophrenia


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