Advanced maternal age ups chances of children to suffer from OCD: Study

Children born to older fathers have been found to be at a great likelihood of suffering from schizophrenia. Studies have said that 15 percent patients detected with schizophrenia were also diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), making it unclear if the first child born to an older father also carried the risk of suffering from OCD.

As opposed to the existing supposition that only father’s age is linked to the increased probability of a child suffering from OCD, a recent study revealed that advanced maternal age is equally responsible for heightening the chance of a child to get afflicted with OCD.

The observations were shared by a group of researchers from the University of Turku, Finland and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) held in May 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The scientists analyzed a nationwide sample consisting of more than 2,000 individuals with an average age of diagnosis of OCD being 15.2 years. The scientists found the mean maternal and paternal age among the respondents detected with the disorder to be 29.7 years and 32.1 years respectively. After making necessary adjustments, the scientists observed that children born to mothers aged 40 years and older were 46 percent more likely to be detected with OCD when compared with those born to mothers aged between 25 and 29 years.

Role of delayed childbearing among women

The prevalence of OCD in the United States ranges between 1.6 percent and 2.3 percent. Though the pervasiveness of the disorder is not too high considering the extent of prevalence of other mental disorders in the country, the findings of the study are important as more women in the country tend to delay child birth.

The current trend of delayed childbearing among women will play an important role in deciding the nature of mental illnesses the future generation may find itself afflicted with. Various reasons are forcing women to take such decisions. The significant public health implications render it necessary to take precautionary steps to arrest the growth of this disease at its onset.

Stressing on the importance of their findings, the authors of the study said, “Special attention may be needed while dealing with children of older parents, and detailed understanding of the underlying mechanisms is necessary before planning any preventive measures.”

Recovery road map

People suffering from OCD suffer from incessant feelings of distress coupled with symptoms of anxiety or obsessive behavior, thus, making it impossible for them to live normally. Those affected by the disorder exhibit signs like constant checking, unwelcome thought feelings, fear of being contaminated or tendencies to store. Those having constantly intrusive thoughts feel aggrieved because of recurring disturbing images in their minds. No particular reason can be attributed to these thought processes.

The roots of the disorder have not been completely understood. While some attribute its occurrence to genetic influences, the progression of the disorder may also be due to some habit that one may have developed during childhood or for a prolonged period. Such people are also anxious and emotional and exhibit signs of unrelenting worry and depression.

If you or a loved one is suffering from ADHD or any other mental disorder, contact the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to find the right line of treatment for mental health illness. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 653-8178 or chat online to get in touch with a mental health specialist and start the journey to recovery today.