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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Children born to mothers over age 30 risk cancer —Study

Women who have children after the age of 30 face a greater risk of their offspring developing cancer , scientists have discovered .

Those who were over 35 were more likely to have infants linked to an increased risk of leukaemia diagnoses – especially acute lymphoblastic leukemia – as well as non -Hodgkin lymphoma .
For those between the age of 30 and 34 , a link was found for Hodgkin lymphoma .

The association may be due to an increase in chromosomal mutations in older people , say the researchers .

The findings are worrying, given that the age at which couples are having babies has been rising in recent years .

“We knew that parental age was a risk factor for childhood cancer , ” study author Dr. Julia Heck , associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health , affirm .

“In most cases , older parents confer greater risk, but in some instances, very young (teenage) parents may also have offspring with higher cancer rates. We wanted to explore this relationship in our population - based study . ”

A team from the University of Denmark and UCLA examined 5 ,856 cancer cases of Danish children who were diagnosed before the age of 16 .
They looked at the age of parents and cases were classified into age groups .

Heck said she was not surprised at the results .
“Older parental age was a risk factor for various childhood cancers in Danish children,” she said.
“The usual explanation is that there are increasing chromosomal aberrations with older parental ages. ”

Increasing new mutations that happen in sperm or egg cells are linked with older age in parents . ”
She pointed out we already know that older parents have a greater risk of having a child with Down’s syndrome .

“Similarly, there is the greater risk of Down’s syndrome in the children of older mothers ; fathers are studied less often but there are reports of increases in the risk of birth defects related to single gene mutations , as well as neurodevelopmental disorders . ”

The study found a stronger correlation between maternal age and childhood cancer risk than for fathers .

There was a ‘ slight increase ’ in leukaemia and non- Hodgkin lymphoma for the children of older men.

But age aside , there are other steps that soon -to- be parents can take that may promote the health of their baby , Dr . Heck suggested.

These include limiting alcohol intake, not smoking and limiting exposure to chemicals as much as possible.

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