21 May Grandfather’s Age At Paternity May Affect Man’s Fertility
Medicalresearch.com Interview with:
Ross Anderson M.D.,M.C.R.
Allina Health clinics and
Jim Hotaling M.D.,M.S.,F.E.C.S.M.
Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Anderson: There is a growing trend of delayed marriage and childbearing, particularly into the third and fourth decade of life. Advanced maternal age is well recognized as a risk factor for chromosomal abnormalities and perinatal complications, but there is also growing interest in the impact of advanced paternal age.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that as men age their sperm quality and ability to have children decreases. We were interested in how the age of the parents and the age of the grandparents at the time of conception can affect a man’s sperm quality. We hypothesized that men with older parents and grandparents at the time of conception would have a linear decrease in the quality of their sperm.
We used Utah’s two largest andrology lab’s semen analyses and these men were linked to the Utah Population Database. The Utah Population Database allows us access to birth certificate data and pedigree data going back to the late 1800s. With this we can determine the age of the parents and grandparents at the time they had each subsequent generation.
We found that the age of the parents did not influence a man’s semen concentration, motility, or total sperm count. Interestingly, the age of the paternal grandfather was associated with an increased risk of poor semen concentration. For instance, if a grandfather was older than 45 year of age at the time of conception of the father, there is a 39% chance a man’s semen concentration would be considered low according to the World Health Organization (less than 15 million per milliliter).
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Anderson: These findings have potential public health implications. We are the first group that has attempted to look at how the age of the parents and grandparents at time of conception influences a man’s fertility.
The two main take home points are:
Number one, a man’s semen analysis is not influenced by the age of his parents, and
Number two, we found that as the age of the paternal grandfather at the time of having the father can negatively influence a man’s semen concentration.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Anderson: This research is still in its infancy and further work is imperative to identify the mechanism of our results. Other research has suggested that epigenetics may play a role in the degradation of semen quality as a man ages. We plan to use our findings to identify a cohort of men with paternal grandfathers at the extremes of age. With our tissue bank of semen samples for these men we will perform epigenetic assays to test if we can see methylation differences between men with old and young grandfathers.
Abstract Presented at the 2015 American Urological Association May 2015
Date & Time:
Session Title: Infertility: Basic Research, Physiology, Pathophysiology
Sources of Funding: None
Grandpaternal Age and Semen Quality: Evidence from the Utah Population Database
Hotaling, James (Salt Lake City, UT); Hotaling, James; Anderson, Ross; Anderson, Ross; Hanson, Heidi; Hanson, Heidi; Patel, Darshan; Patel, Darshan; Redshaw, Jeffrey; Redshaw, Jeffrey; Zhang, Chong; Zhang, Chong; Presson, Angela; Presson, Angela; Aston, Kenneth; Aston, Kenneth; Carrell, Douglas; Carrell, Douglas; Smith, Ken; Smith, Ken
Medicalresearch.com Interview with: Ross Anderson M.D.,M.C.R. Allina Health clinics and, Jim Hotaling M.D.,M.S.,F.E.C.S.M. Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine, & Salt Lake City, UT 84108 (2015). Grandfather’s Age At Paternity May Affect Man’s Fertility