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Older fathers may produce kids that live longer, new study says

Children of older fathers, late 30s to early 50s, inherit longer telomeres, that protect them from degeneration, according to a new study.

Clone of Clone of Rollingthunder1 john moore 270512Enlarge
A new study says older fathers may produce children that live longer. (John Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

Children of older fathers, those in their late 30s to early 50s, may have children with longer lives, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, children of those with older father's "inherit longer telomeres, caps at the end of the chromosomes that protect them from degeneration. Longer telomeres seem to promote slower aging and may mean a longer lifespan for these children."

Dan Eisenberg, a study author and doctoral student at Northwestern University, told Bloomberg "Most literature also suggests risks from paternal age and this is intriguing, in part, because it stands in contrast to that... We don't really know, on balance, what the net effect is."

Previously it was thought that older fathers were more likely to give birth to children with disorders such as autism.

U.S. News and World Report wrote "the older your father's father was when your father was born, the more likely you are to have long telomeres."

The average age for American men having their first child is 25, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120612/older-fathers-may-produce-kids-live-longer