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Parent Age and Autism

Over the course of the last several decades, studies have established the commonplace notion that as women get older, the risk of pregnancy complications become greater. Many studies over the course of the last decade confirm that a link does exist between parental age and risk of autism, though many variables play into the equation.

Studies from the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown that the offspring of men 40 years or older were more than 5 times more likely to have a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder compared with offspring of men younger than 30 years after controlling for year of birth, socioeconomic status, and maternal age.

A 2007 study from the American Medical Association concludes that the risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders increases significantly with each 10-year increase in maternal age and paternal age. Associations with parental age were somewhat stronger for girls than for boys, although sex differences were not statistically significant.

Other studies exist confirming that advanced parental age is a risk factor for having a child with autism. While variables involved in the chance of developing autism may sway the ultimate outcome, the need for evidence-based services remain a key factor in helping those who currently have a developmental disability to maximize their potential.

Learn more about Trumpet’s clinical leadership and the efforts underway within our organization to improve the landscape of ABA therapy services.