Danish research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology reported in April 2008 that deaths of children from fathers age 45-49 occurred at 1.77 times the rate of those fathered by men aged between 25 and 30. Deaths of children from fathers aged 50 or more occurred at 1.59 times the rate of those fathered by men aged between 25 and 30.
The deaths of many of the children of the older fathers were related to congenital defects such as problems of the heart and spine, which increase the risk of infant mortality. But there were also higher rates of accidental death (injuries or poisoning), which researchers speculate might be explained by the increased likelihood of suffering from autism, epilepsy or schizophrenia.
In the study among 100,000 children born between 1980 and 1996 , 831 died before age 18, the majority when they were less than one year old.
Zhu JL, Vestergaard M, Madsen KM, Olsen J. Paternal age and mortality in children. Eur J Epidemiol. 2008 Apr 25