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Smoking Father Pass on Damaged Genes to Children, Raising Risk of Cancer

Update Date: Jun 26, 2012 08:47 AM EDT

A new research has revealed that men, who smoke, pass on their DNA to their children, raising the risk of cancer in them.

The father's DNA, which is harmed by smoking, is inherited by his children, raising the risk of children developing cancer at a young age.

The risk is particularly of contracting leukaemia, warn researchers at the University of Bradford, according to Mail Online.

In order to avoid the risk of the damaged gene being passed on to the child, the father should stop smoking 12 weeks before the conception of the child. This could be explained with the fact that a fertile sperm cell takes three months to fully develop, according to Dr Diana Anderson.

 "Smoking by fathers at the time around conception can lead to genetic changes in their children. These changes may raise the risk of developing cancer," she added.

The study was carried out by a collaboration of international researchers led by a team at the University of Bradford. The work was funded by the European Union Integrated Project NewGeneris and the study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The research was carried out in order to investigate the possible roles of exposure to environmental and lifestyle toxins (such as tobacco smoke) before and during conception and pregnancy, according to

Researchers wanted to see how these factors affect the DNA of newborn babies. However, this study has not carried out further investigation of the effect of damaged genes on the infants' risk of cancer or any other disease. Also, there need to be further studies carried out in order to establish a cause and effect relationship between fathers smoking and DNA damage to their children.

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