Objectives: We examined associations between paternal age and low birth-weight in the US urban population.
Methods: Using a population-based sample of 4621 births, we used multiple logistic regression analysis to estimate associations between paternal age and low birthweight, controlling for maternal age, other demographic factors, and the child's gender.
Results: When the child's gender and the mother's race/ethnicity, birthplace, parity, marital status, and health insurance type were controlled, teenaged fathers were 20% less likely and fathers older than 34 years were 90% more likely than fathers aged 20 to 34 years to have low-birthweight babies. The associations were significant when maternal age was also controlled. No racial/ethnic differences in associations between paternal age and low birthweight were found.
Conclusions: We identified paternal age as an independent risk factor for low birthweight in the US urban population, suggesting that more attention needs to be paid to paternal influences on birth outcomes and to the interactive effects of urban environments and individual risk factors on health.