Does increased paternal age increase the risk of abortion?

From: American Journal of Epidemiology

Journal rating:
rating: 98%
Study Quality:
rating: 55%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
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rating: 50%


  • 5,121 women (pregnant, first trimester)


  • Participants were interviewed in 1990 or 1991 when they were less than 13 weeks’ pregnant and were followed until the end of pregnancy
  • The risk of abortion between weeks 6 and 20 of pregnancy was measured.


  • The eligible pregnancies resulted in 4,645 livebirths or stillbirths and 491 spontaneous abortions that occurred after 6 completed gestational weeks.
  • After adjustment for maternal age, the risk of spontaneous abortion associated with a paternal age of 35 years or more was 1.26 times higher than when the father was aged less than 35 years.
  • The risk of spontaneous abortion was 27% higher among women with a male partner aged 35 or more years than among those whose partner was aged less than 35 years.
  • The age of 35 or more years did not appear to be a clear threshold for the effect of male age. Instead, there was a steady increase in the risk of spontaneous abortion with paternal age, which was almost twice as high among men aged more than 45 years than among those aged less than 25 years.


  • Yes (with confidence)