Women have always been under pressure to start a family when they are young and now men could be feeling it too.
More men are choosing to start a family at a later stage in life and scientists have warned against this trend.
According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, men should start a family before the age of 35 to avoid risk to their babies.
For decades women have been told they will put their children at risk if they choose to pursue a career and wait until they are older to have babies. This new study shows that the same applies to men.
The study, which tracked about 40 million babies, found once a father hits 35, there’s a slight increase in birth defects, but the risk increases more sharply as men age into their 40s and 50s.
There is also a reason for the increase in birth defect when a father reaches age 35. According to the study, every year that a man ages, he acquires two new mutations to the DNA of his sperm.
Babies born to men between ages 35 and 44 are more likely to be born premature or of low birth weight compared babies born to men between the ages of 25 and 34.
The study also found babies born to men aged 45 and above are 14 per cent more likely to be admitted to intensive care, 14 per cent more likely to be born prematurely, 18 per cent more likely to have seizures and 14 per cent more likely to have a low birth weight.
Researcher Professor Michael Eisenberg, of Stanford University School of Medicine, said: ‘We tend to look at maternal factors in evaluating associated birth risks.
“But this study shows that having a healthy baby is a team sport, and the father’s age contributes to the baby’s health, too.”