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Babies born to teen fathers are more likely to suffer birth problems, such as premature birth, low birth weight, even risk of death. The results are based on national U.S. statistics on nearly all babies born from 1995 to 2000. From this large group, doctors studies singleton babies born to mothers aged 20 to 29. That’s more than 2.6 million babies. They found that when the father was under 20, babies had a 15% increased risk of prematurity, 13% increased risk of low birth weight, and a 22% greater chance of death one to four weeks after birth. In contrast, babies born to older dads, aged 40 plus, did not have these increased risks. Researchers say they’re not sure of the reasons for the differences in babies of young dads.

By: Brian McDonough, M.D., FAAFP