Health Buzz: Older Fathers and Bipolar Disorder and Other Health News


Older Fathers and Bipolar Offspring

Older men, particularly those over 55, are more likely to father children who develop bipolar disorder, according to a new Swedish study. The Associated Press reports that the study published in September's Archives of General Psychiatry finds the heightened risk of fathering bipolar offspring begins at a paternal age of about age 40. Among men 55 and older, the risk of having a child who develops bipolar disorder is 37 percent higher than among men in their 20s. Still, the study authors say, the absolute risk isn't high enough to say that older men shouldn't become fathers. Previous studies have connected advanced paternal age to other mental disorders, namely schizophrenia and autism.

Earlier, a study found bipolar disorder might be overdiagnosed. U.S. News has written previously about how to tell if a child has a psychiatric disorder.

Study: For Blocked Arteries, Bypass Surgery Beats Stents

Bypass surgery is a more permanent solution than drug-coated stents to help the sickest patients with blocked arteries, according to a new study sponsored by a stent manufacturer. Reuters reports that the study—sponsored by Boston Scientific and presented at a cardiologists' conference in Europe—found that both procedures were safe in the more complicated cases but that patients receiving stents were more than twice as likely to require the stent-inserting procedure again.

Stents are small scaffoldlike devices that hold clogged arteries open, and in recent years their safety has been questioned. U.S. News 's Avery Comarow wrote in the past about the brouhaha over drug-coated stents. And Adam Voiland wrote recently about a new kind of drug-coated stent approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Prenups Over Pudginess?

Health-related clauses in prenuptial agreements dictating weight requirements, banning smoking, or detailing a timeline to get pregnant are starting to turn up, matrimonial lawyers say. These clauses remain unusual, but U.S. News 's Michelle Andrews reports that as people become more health conscious, clauses like this are creeping into prenups. But putting something into a legal agreement doesn't mean it's enforceable, attorneys say.

Andrews has also reported on couples getting married in order to obtain health insurance. And Deborah Kotz wrote recently about why divorced women might seek revenge.

—Katherine Hobson