Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

Teen Dads Tied to Babies' Health Risks

Babies Born to Teenage Fathers More Likely to Have Lower Birth Weight, Higher Death Rate, Study Shows
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 7, 2008 -- Teenage fathers may be more likely than older men to have babies that have lower birth weight and a higher death rate.

That news comes from a study posted online in Human Reproduction. It's one of few studies to focus on teenage fathers.

The study included data on 2.8 million U.S. babies born from 1995 to 2000 to women in their 20s. The researchers focused on women in their 20s because they're less likely than teen girls to have risky births.

Most of the babies were fathered by men in their 20s or 30s. But more than 28,000 babies were fathered by men younger than 20.

Compared with babies fathered by men in their 20s, babies fathered by teens were more likely to have these risks:

  • Preterm birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Small size for their gestational age
  • Less healthy at birth
  • Higher death rate from birth through their first birthday

The researchers aren't blaming teenage fathers for those problems. The data don't reveal everything about the parents' health, class, lifestyle, and other factors.

But biology might play a role, according to the researchers.

Men younger than 25 are more likely than older men to have immature sperm, which "might be associated with an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes," write Xi-Kuan Chen, MD, PhD, and colleagues. Chen works in the obstetrics and gynecology department at Canada's University of Ottawa.

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Man taking blood pressure
doctor holding syringe
Condom Quiz
man running
older couple in bed