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Previous studies have reported the association between advanced paternal
age at birth and the risk of autistic-spectrum disorder in offspring,
including offspring with intellectual disability.
To test whether an association between advanced paternal age at birth is
found in offspring with high-functioning autistic-spectrum disorder (i.e.
offspring without intellectual disability).
A case–control study was conducted in Japan. The participants consisted
of individuals with full-scale IQ ⩾ 70, with a DSM–IV autistic disorder
or related diagnosis. Unrelated healthy volunteers were recruited as
controls. Parental ages were divided into tertiles (i.e. three age
classes). Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using
logistic regression analyses, with an adjustment for age, gender and
Eighty-four individuals with autistic-spectrum disorder but without
intellectual disability and 208 healthy controls were enrolled. Increased
paternal, but not maternal, age was associated with an elevated risk of
high-functioning autistic-spectrum disorder. A one-level advance in
paternal age class corresponded to a 1.8-fold increase in risk, after
adjustment for covariates.
Advanced paternal age is associated with an increased risk for
high-functioning autistic-spectrum disorder.
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