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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Taiwan: Advanced Paternal Age Increases Risk of Early-onset Schizophrenia in Offspring

The effect of advanced paternal age on risk of early-onset schizophrenia in offspring is not explained by parental predisposition for schizophrenia, according to an international collaborative research led by Dr. Wei J. Chen at National Taiwan University College of Public Health and Dr. Shi-Heng Wang at China Medical University. The results have been published online by Biological Psychiatry.

Although advanced paternal age has been associated with increased risk of schizophrenia in offspring, “the paternal age association could be spurious if it was explained by selection into late fatherhood, which reflect fathers’ own predisposition to schizophrenia” said Dr. Chen, corresponding author of the paper. Based on genotyping data, including information on hundreds of thousands common genetic variants, among ~1600 schizophrenia patients’ healthy parents, who were recruited from Schizophrenia Trio Genomic Research in Taiwan, led by principal investigators Dr. Ming T. Tsuang (University of California San Diego) and Dr. Stephen J. Glatt (SUNY Upstate Medical University) along with local co-principal investigators s Dr. Hai-Gwo Hwu (National Taiwan University) and Dr. Wei J. Chen. They then empirically estimated both parental predispositions to schizophrenia by calculating polygenic risk scores.

“After controlling for parental polygenic risk scores, per 10-year delay in paternal age still increased ~30 percent risk of being early-onset schizophrenia in offspring.” Said Dr. Wang, first-author of the paper. This finding supports an independent role of paternal age per se in the increased psychiatric risk in offspring, rather than being associated with increased risk through other factors related to late parenthood.