10 June 2010

Children of Older Dads at Higher Risk of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Adult women more prone to the cancer if born to father over 40, study shows


This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to older fathers are at increased risk for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a new study has found.

Researchers analyzed data on 110,999 California women and found that those born to fathers older than 40 had a 59 percent greater risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of the blood and immune system) than those born to fathers younger than 25.

The study, which appears online and in the June 15 print issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, is one of the first to examine the link between parents' age and their adult children's risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the authors said.

The findings add to the growing evidence that a father's age may have a significant effect on a child's health, said study author Yani Lu, of the City of Hope research and treatment center in Duarte, Calif. For example, other studies have found that children of older fathers may be more likely to develop prostate and breast cancers in adulthood, as well as some types of blood cancers during childhood.

"As a man, you may think, 'I can have a baby at 50 or 60 and live long enough to see him go through college.' But there may be other risks for your child down the line, and you may want to be conscious of those risks," Lu said in a news release from City of Hope.

As men age, they may accumulate mutations in their reproductive cells, which increases the risk of abnormalities being passed on to children.

Previous research has shown that older women who get pregnant are at increased risk for miscarriage and more likely to have babies with low birth weight, autism, or serious health problems, such as Down syndrome.

More information

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has more about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst and Head of Advocacy Magdalene Seguin. For more information, visit

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules