Many studies have considered maternal age as a determinant factor for success in assisted reproductive technologies (ART), but the potential role of paternal age on neonatal outcomes has been overlooked. This study aimed to explore the association between paternal age and birthweight in frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycles.
This retrospective study involved singleton live births born to women undergoing frozen embryo transfer from January 2013 to December 2017 at a tertiary care center in Shanghai, China. The paternal age was classified into four categories: ≤ 30, 31–35, 36–40, and ≥ 41 years. The group consisting of respondents with paternal age of 31–35 was set as the reference group. Singleton birthweight was the primary outcome measure. Z-scores were calculated according to gestational age and newborn gender on birthweight based on the national birthweight reference. Multivariable linear regression analysis was performed to reveal the relationship between paternal age and newborns’ birthweight after considering several potential confounders.
Exactly 9765 women who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were enrolled. No significant difference was found on mean birthweight (P = 0.082) and gestation-adjusted Z-scores (P = 0.569) among paternal age categories. The reference group and the group with aged 36–40 years had the highest mean birthweight and Z-scores, respectively (3350.2 ± 467.8 g, 0.36 ± 1.00). A decline in mean birthweight with paternal age was observed, and the group over 40 years had the lowest value of 3309.4 ± 474.3 g, but the difference was not statistically significant. In multivariate analyses, the adjusted odds of very low birthweight (LBW), LBW, and high birthweight in the reference group did not significantly differ with the three other groups. After correcting several potential confounders, no significant correlation was observed between paternal age and neonatal birthweight (P = 0.289).
Paternal age was not associated with mean birthweight and gestational age- and gender-adjusted birthweight (Z-scores) of singletons among women who became pregnant in FET cycles.