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Children with older fathers, grandfathers live longer: Study

Children who have older fathers and grandfathers appear to live longer, a recent study revealed.

By PressTV | 12 Jun 2012

American scientists have found that children with older fathers and grandfathers are "genetically programmed" to live longer.

New study from Northwestern University revealed that delaying fatherhood may offer longer and healthier lives for the children.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on Monday, said that children who have older fathers, in late 30s and early 50s, inherit longer telomeres, structures that sit at the end of the chromosomes protecting them from degeneration and damage.

Longer telomeres appear to promote slower aging and could benefit the children in having longer lives, the study said after the researchers analyzed the DNA of 1,779 young adults living in the Philippines over a 30-year period.

The children would even live longer if their paternal grandfathers had also delayed fatherhood.

This is while, previous studies had found that if a man postpones his fatherhood, the risk of miscarriage will be increased. Some research has also showed that children of older fathers have lower intelligence scores than the children who have younger fathers.

The scientists, however, believe that inheriting longer telomeres will be beneficial for tissues and biological functions engaging rapid cell growth and turnover, including the immune system, gut and skin.

Dr. Dan Eisenberg, the study’s lead author, said that the findings of their study will not necessarily contradict former research.

“I don’t think this contradicts those other findings, and we don’t recommend people have kids at a later age,” he said.

“But one major point is that what seems to be occurring is kind of interrelated with why children of older men have these mutations,” he added.



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