Historically, only women’s drinking was considered a risk during pregnancy, but new research points to the role of fathers’ habits as well.
Men drink more, are more likely to binge drink and are almost four times more likely to develop alcohol use disorder than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Research clearly shows that sperm carry a vast amount of epigenetic information – meaning heritable shifts in the way genes are expressed that don’t result from changes in the DNA sequence – that strongly influences fetal development and child health. Yet most doctors and other health care providers do not take into account the influence of paternal health and lifestyle choices on child development.
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