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The effect of advanced paternal age on the lifespan of male offspring in an ancient Chinese genealogical data set

  • Sihui Wen
    Affiliations
    Key Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology of Hunan Province, School of Medicine, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China
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  • Yanyan Xiong
    Affiliations
    Key Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology of Hunan Province, School of Medicine, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China
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  • Lubei Li
    Affiliations
    Key Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology of Hunan Province, School of Medicine, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China
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  • Huidan Huang
    Affiliations
    Key Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology of Hunan Province, School of Medicine, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China
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  • Ying Xie
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Key Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology of Hunan Province, School of Medicine, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, PR China.
    Affiliations
    Key Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology of Hunan Province, School of Medicine, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, PR China

    The Key Laboratory of Model Animals and Stem Cell Biology in Hunan Province, Hunan Normal University School of Medicine, Changsha, Hunan 410013, China
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      Highlights

      • Advanced paternal age is associated with reduced longevity of male offspring.
      • Using an ancient genealogical data set, from a period lacking the dietary and health advantages of modern society, paternal reproductive age of more than 35 years was seen to be associated with reduced life expectancy of male offspring.
      • Older sons had a significantly lower risk of a reduced lifespan than their younger brothers, whose father would have been older at the time of conception.

      Abstract

      Background

      Advanced paternal age has been reported to be associated with a variety of short-term outcomes in offspring, but long-term effects are rarely examined. The present study evaluated the impact of advanced paternal age on offspring's longevity.

      Methods

      We studied the effect of paternal reproductive age on the lifespan of male offspring using a Chinese genealogy data set that spans 226 years of the Qing Dynasty (1683–1909). Multivariable-adjusted Cox regression analyses of 1274 men with survival data were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of advanced parental age at reproduction. We also evaluated whether the lifespan of brothers differed when they were born to the same parents at different ages.

      Results

      In models adjusted for maternal age, advanced paternal age was negatively associated with the lifespan of male offspring. Individuals born to fathers aged >40 years had a 32 % higher HR of a lifespan shorter than those born to fathers aged 25–29 years (adjusted HR 1.320, 95 % CI: 1.066–1.634). The adjusted HR for offspring born to fathers aged 35–39 years was 1.232 (95 % CI: 1.013–1.500). Older brothers born to fathers aged 20–34 years had a significantly lower risk of a reduced lifespan compared with their younger brothers with fathers aged ≥35 years at reproduction (P < 0.01).

      Conclusion

      Advanced paternal age at reproduction is a negative factor for male offspring's life expectancy. With the sustained increase in paternal age over the past generation, further investigation is warranted into the impact on birth outcomes and public health.

      Keywords

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