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Fathers' Genetic Birth Defect More Likely to Pass to Offspring

man holding onto child who is sitting on his shoulders

After analysis of more than 450,000 birth records, children's health researchers discovered that men and women with birth defects have a higher risk of passing that defect on to their children. Children of mothers are not at increased risk for defects other than the one carried by the mother, but researchers found children of fathers with birth defects have a significantly higher risk of birth defects of any kind.

Tags: children's health, genes


Lie RT, Wilcox AJ, Skjaerven R. 2001. Survival and reproduction among males with birth defects and risk of recurrence in their children. JAMA 285(6):755-760. [Abstract] Full Text

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