Paternal age at birth and the risk of obesity in young adulthood: A register-based birth cohort study of norwegian males

Authors

  • Willy Eriksen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway
    • Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway
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  • Jon M. Sundet,

    1. Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway
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  • Kristian Tambs

    1. Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway
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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between paternal age at birth and the risk of obesity in young adulthood.

Methods:

Data from the medical birth register of Norway were linked with register data from the Norwegian National Conscript Service and the national statistics agency, Statistics Norway. This study used the data on 346,609 registered males who were born at term in single birth without physical anomalies during 1967–1984 and who were examined at the time of the mandatory military conscription (age 18–20 years). The relationship between paternal age at birth and the occurrence of obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30.0 kg/m2) at conscription was examined using a multinomial logistic regression analysis with BMI < 25.0 kg/m2 as the reference outcome category.

Results:

The relative risk of obesity at conscription increased linearly with increasing paternal age at birth but did not increase (P = 0.52) with maternal age at birth. Men born when their fathers were 50 years or older had a 55% (95% confidence interval (CI): 14%, 110%) higher relative risk of obesity than men born when their fathers were younger than 20 years of age, after adjustment for age at conscription, birth order, birth year, maternal age at birth, the mother's total number of children, and maternal and paternal education levels.

Conclusions:

The risk of obesity in young Norwegian men increases with advancing paternal age at birth but does not increase with advancing maternal age at birth. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2013. © 2012Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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