Volume 28 - Article 5 | Pages 137–176

Impact of parental ages and other characteristics at childbearing on congenital anomalies: Results for the Czech Republic, 2000-2007

By Jitka Rychtarikova, Catherine Gourbin, Guillaume Wunsch, Antonín Šípek

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:08 Aug 2011
Date published:15 Jan 2013
Word count:6200
Keywords:childbearing, congenital anomalies, Czech Republic, parents


Background: If the impact of maternal age at childbearing on congenital anomalies is well-known for the occurrence of Down syndrome, less is known concerning its effects on other major anomalies. Information is even scarcer for the possible effects of other maternal characteristics and of age of the father.

Objective: We present new results on the associations between parental ages and other maternal characteristics, on the one hand, and congenital anomalies, on the other hand, using data linkage between three Czech registries on mother, newborn, and malformations, for the period 2000-2007.

Methods: As the variables are in categorical format, binary logistic regression is used in order to investigate the relationship between presence/absence of a congenital anomaly, for each of the eleven types of anomalies considered, and the set of predictors.

Results: This research confirms the impact of a higher age of the mother on Down syndrome and on other chromosomal anomalies. Paternal age is not associated with chromosomal anomalies and, in this Czech population, has a rather slight effect on some of the congenital anomalies examined. Another finding of the present study is the possible role of various other maternal characteristics on congenital malformations.

Conclusions: Based on a large data set, this study concludes that both parental ages can be associated with congenital anomalies of the child, and that maternal characteristics other than age have also to be considered.

Comments: Risk factors can be tentatively proposed if they are based on a plausible and suitably tested explanatory mechanism. Unfortunately, in the majority of individual cases of congenital anomaly, the cause of the condition is still unknown and suspected to be an interaction of multiple environmental and genetic factors.

Author's Affiliation

Jitka Rychtarikova - Univerzita Karlova, Czech Republic [Email]
Catherine Gourbin - Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium [Email]
Guillaume Wunsch - Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium [Email]
Antonín Šípek - Thomayerovy Nemocnice (Thomayerova Teaching Hospital), Czech Republic [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Confounding and control
Volume 16 - Article 4

» The case of the Czech Republic: Determinants of the recent favourable turnover in mortality
Special Collection 2 - Article 5

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Czech Republic: A rapid transformation of fertility and family behaviour after the collapse of state socialism
Volume 19 - Article 14    | Keywords: childbearing, Czech Republic

» Disentangling the Swedish fertility decline of the 2010s
Volume 47 - Article 12    | Keywords: childbearing

» The contribution of assisted reproductive technology to fertility rates and parity transition: An analysis of Australian data
Volume 45 - Article 35    | Keywords: childbearing

» The role of premarital cohabitation in the timing of first birth in China
Volume 45 - Article 8    | Keywords: childbearing

» Recent trends in the Chinese family: National estimates from 1990 to 2010
Volume 44 - Article 25    | Keywords: childbearing