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Bipolar: The age of your father may play a part in mood swings
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

The age of your father when you were born may be a factor in determining whether you will suffer from bipolar disorder, or severe mood swings

The age of your father when you were born may be a factor in determining whether you will suffer from bipolar disorder, or severe mood swings.


Newborns whose fathers were aged 55 or older were nearly twice as likely to develop bipolar disorder as those whose fathers were aged between 20 and 24 years. The age of the mother didn't seem to be quite so influential.


Researchers made the discovery when they investigated the records of 13,428 bipolar disorder sufferers. They found that the risk was greatest among those who suffered early-onset bipolar disorder - that is, they had their first attack before the age of 20. In these cases, the risk increased by nearly four times if the father was aged 55 or older.


(Source: Archives of General Psychiatry, 2008; 65: 1034-40).


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