Brief report: Parental age and the sex ratio in autism

Alene Anello, Abraham Reichenberg, Xiaodong Luo, James Schmeidler, Eric Hollander, Christopher J. Smith, Connor M. Puleo, Lauren A. Kryzak, Jeremy M. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The male-to-female (M:F) ratio for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), typically about 4:1, appears to decrease with increasing paternal age, but this relationship has not been systematically tested. With 393 ASD cases from families with two or more ASD cases, we categorized paternal age into five age groups (<30, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45+) and found that the M:F ratio was significantly decreased with increasing paternal age groups and remained so after also adjusting for maternal age. No significant relationship between maternal age group and the M:F ratio was observed. This study suggests that the M:F ratio is reduced with increasing paternal age consistent with de novo genetic or genomic anomalies arising more frequently as men age and then conceive children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1487-1492
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Copy number variants
  • Genetics
  • Genomic anomalies
  • Maternal age
  • Paternal age
  • Sex ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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