Maternal and Paternal Age are Jointly Associated with Childhood Autism in Jamaica
Several studies have reported maternal and paternal age as risk factors for having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), yet the results remain inconsistent. We used data for 68 age- and sex-matched case–control pairs collected from Jamaica. Using Multivariate General Linear Models (MGLM) and controlling for parity, gestational age, and parental education, we found a significant (p < 0.0001) joint effect of parental ages on having children with ASD indicating an adjusted mean paternal age difference between cases and controls of [5.9 years; 95% CI (2.6, 9.1)] and a difference for maternal age of [6.5 years; 95% CI (4.0, 8.9)]. To avoid multicollinearity in logistic regression, we recommend joint modeling of parental ages as a vector of outcome variables using MGLM.