Skip to content

    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