The Type of Parents Most Likely to Have a Child with Autism

Beth Greenfield:

“The size of the study speaks to the definitiveness of the findings,” says co-author Michael Rosanoff, director of public health research for Autism Speaks, the organization that funded the study. “We can now say confidently that advanced paternal and maternal age is a risk factor for autism.” Such findings are not new, he tells Yahoo Parenting, but this is by far the most sweeping of its kind.

It also turned up some new correlations: In addition to finding that autism rates were 66 percent higher among children born to dads over the age of 50 than those in their 20s (and 28 percent higher for dads in their 40s), researchers found rates were 18 percent higher with teen moms than those with moms in their 20s.