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Kids of Older Parents Have Healthier Metabolism

Update Date: Nov 14, 2014 11:47 PM EST

Men with older parents have healthier metabolism than those with younger parents, according to a new study.

After looking at a sample of middle-aged men who were overweight, researchers found that men born to older parents were more likely to have lower blood pressure, more favorable cholesterol levels, and improved glucose metabolism.

However, it's unclear whether the beneficial effect was due to having an older mother, an older father, or both, researchers noted.

"We studied 73 men aged 46.0±5.4 years, who were overweight (body mass index, BMI 25-30 kg/m2) but otherwise healthy. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the Matsuda method from an oral glucose tolerance test. Other assessments included dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived body composition, lipid profile, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure, and carotid intima-media thickness. Maternal and paternal ages were highly correlated (r = 0.71; P < 0.0001), and the main parameter of interest in this study was the mean parental age at childbirth (MPAC), calculated as the average of maternal and paternal ages," researchers wrote in the study.

"Increasing parental age at childbirth was associated with a more favorable metabolic phenotype in overweight middle-aged males. However, it is unknown whether the effect was maternal, paternal, or both. Future studies on the effects of parental age at childbirth on the metabolism of males and females across the BMI range are required," they concluded.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

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