Al Pacino expecting a baby at 83: Health risks for children of older fathers


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  last year  •  10 comments

By:   Aria Bendix

Al Pacino expecting a baby at 83: Health risks for children of older fathers
Doctors and medical ethicists discuss the biological and ethical issues that can come with fathering children in old age, as Al Pacino prepares to welcome a baby.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Doctors and medical ethicists alike are warning about the risks of fathering children in old age, following news that actor Al Pacino is expecting a child at age 83.

Pacino's girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, is eight months pregnant. The "Scarface" star already has three other children: daughter Julie Marie, 33, and 22-year-old twins Anton and Olivia.

Pacino's friend and former co-star Robert De Niro welcomed his seventh child last month at age 79.

Research published over the last decade suggests that babies born to older men have an increased risk of arriving prematurely or developing birth defects, certain cancers or neurodevelopmental disorders, though the overall risk is still low.

"Older guys have been having babies since biblical days. It's not a new phenomenon. What we didn't understand was they might be producing kids with a higher risk of problems," said Arthur Caplan, a professor of medical ethics at NYU's Grossman School of Medicine.

The medical community does not have a consistent definition of so-called advanced paternal age, but the American Urological Association and American Society for Reproductive Medicine jointly recommend that doctors talk to men ages 40 and up about the increased risk of adverse health outcomes in their offspring.

"Men should be aware that they, too, go through the same reproductive aging cycle as women, despite the fact that they don't have menopause," said Dr. Gloria Bachmann, associate dean for women's health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

A 2019 study determined that a father's age has a significant impact on a child's health and development. The study found that babies born to older fathers had an increased risk of cleft lip or palate, heart defects, autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Additional research suggests that advanced paternal age is moderately associated with the most common form of childhood leukemia and linked to a slightly elevated risk of pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

In 2018, researchers at Stanford University found that babies born to fathers ages 45 or older were 18% more likely to have seizures and 14% more likely to be born premature compared with babies born to fathers ages 25 to 34.

That study also noted a risk to pregnant people: The partners of men ages 45 and older were 28% more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those of men ages 25 to 34.

"The absolute risk does remain relatively low. For an individual, it may not be as meaningful. But certainly on a population level, if we're looking at societal changes where parents are getting older, then it may be this measurable increase in some of these disorders," said Dr. Michael Eisenberg, an author of that study and a urology professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Eisenberg said men, on average, accumulate about two mutations in their sperm's DNA every year, which may help explain why health risks for their babies increase as they age.

But men are, on average, procreating later in life in the U.S.

Fifty years ago, around 4% of infants were born to fathers over age 40, according to Eisenberg's analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2015, that number had risen to around 9%.

"We've seen basically doubling rates of older fathers," Eisenberg said.

Considerations for older fathers

Caplan said many older men who are considering having kids don't receive the same reproductive counseling that older women do.

"There's a whole system set up to sort of deal with older women who want to have children and the risks that they pose to the children that isn't set up for men," he said.

The disparity is rooted in sexism, he said, and amplified by lighthearted news coverage of older male celebrities having kids.

"There's an attitude: 'This guy's 80. He's still reproducing. That's cool,'" Caplan said. But the decision to have a child later in life, he added, should be made carefully with a doctor and take into account a man's individual health status and economic situation.

Even then, he added, there's the ethical concern that an older father won't live long enough to participate in much of his child's life.

"It's not great for offspring to only have one parent, even if they're rich," Caplan said.

However, Bachmann said age should be one of many factors that men weigh when deciding whether to reproduce. Some men are better listeners, role models and teachers in their older years, she said.

"They may actually be a better father at 61 than they would have been at 21," Bachmann said.

She recommended that men who want to delay having kids consider sperm banking at younger ages if they have the financial means to do so. Older men considering fatherhood should prepare for the possibility of not raising their child to adulthood, she added.

"If an individual who is advanced age is going to become a parent, the child should have a community that is going to be comforting, that's going to be supportive and that will be there if something should happen to one or both parents," Bachmann said.


jrDiscussion - desc
PhD Principal
1  Hallux    last year

Al will probably be dead by the time of playing pitch and catch arrives ... he might think about acquiring an automatic ball launcher.

Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Hallux @1    last year

meh, I'd be arranging a DNA test for the kid right after birth...

Professor Quiet
1.1.1  mocowgirl  replied to  devangelical @1.1    last year

I saw an article on MSN today that Pacino had requested DNA testing.  I just google and found this.

I also saw an article that said Alfallah "dated" Mick Jagger and another wealthy man in the past.  

If any of this is fact, this child was likely conceived as a meal ticket.  All of the money in the world will not compensate if there is not the love that a parent should have for their child.

Al Pacino, 83, demanded paternity test from pregnant Noor Alfallah (pagesix.com)

Al Pacino reportedly didn’t think he could get   Noor Alfallah   pregnant because of a medical issue that typically causes infertility.

Sources close to the situation claim that Pacino, 83, didn’t believe he was able to impregnate his 29-year-old girlfriend, or anyone else, and demanded she get a paternity test to prove the child was his,   TMZ reported   Thursday.

The sources alleged that the “Godfather” actor had medical issues that would normally prevent a man from getting a woman pregnant.

Pacino reportedly had doubts that the baby was his and asked for a DNA test. Alfallah went through with the test, which proved that he was the father of her child.

The “Scarface” star apparently had no idea she was expecting until two months ago and was   allegedly “shocked”   when he found out he was going to welcome his fourth child.
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2  Buzz of the Orient    last year

I wonder who he'll choose to be the kid's "GODFATHER".

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Expert
2.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    last year


Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3  Vic Eldred    last year

Al will have enough money to provide people who will be part of the so called village that child would need growing. The child won't get to know his father for very long and the problem with this for ordinary people is that a man that old would be too tired to do the things a father normally does with his kids and that single fact has to affect the child's developement.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Expert
3.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    last year

I totally agree!

Professor Quiet
3.2  mocowgirl  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    last year
Al will have enough money to provide people who will be part of the so called village that child would need growing.

Doesn't this statement undermine the argument that a child needs their two biological parents in order to grow up mentally healthy?

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  mocowgirl @3.2    last year

Not really. Having both biological parents is a key ingredient in growing up in a healthy way, but having people lend a hand is better than having nobody or just one parent. Think of what that would be like?

Professor Quiet
3.2.2  mocowgirl  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.2.1    last year
but having people lend a hand is better than having nobody or just one parent. Think of what that would be like?

Depends on the people who lend a hand doesn't it?  


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