Smoking fathers a risk to offspring
28 September 2005
Smoking fathers put their unborn offspring at an increased risk of developing cancer according to top Sydney University epidemiologist, Professor Stephen Leeder.
Professor Leeder addressed a recent Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes conference in Melbourne where he suggested that the children of men who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day for five years before conception are around 1.7 times more likely to get cancer compared with the offspring of non-smoking fathers.
With an estimated 64,000 Australian smokers becoming fathers each year this research has wide ranging implications for the health of the nation’s future population.
‘One possible explanation is that the smoking causes genetic damage to sperm cells,’ Professor Leeder said.