Did you know that your father’s smoking habits around the time you were born could partly determine the timing of your last period? A recent Japanese study found women whose dads smoked while they were in the womb went through menopause an average of 13 months earlier than those whose dads were not smokers.
Genetics is weird, y’all.
An increasing body of evidence indicates that fathers, not just mothers, play an important biological/genetic role in determining obesity and metabolic functioning in their children. One study, published in the journal Nature last December, found girls born to overweight fathers are at greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. And a variety of genetic diseases, including autism and schizophrenia, are tied to how old your dad was when you were conceived.
There are also strong ties between fathers and daughters when it comes to certain cancer risks. Mayo Clinic found that while having either parent with colorectal cancer increases your risk of getting it, daughters with infected fathers were more likely to develop the cancer at a younger age.
And while women often look to their maternal history of breast and ovarian cancer to assess their risk, 5 to 10 percent of breast and ovarian cancers are genetically determined, and half of these genetic cases are inherited from a woman’s father. These cancers can be passed from grandfather to father to daughter just as easily as from grandmother to mother to daughter, researchers say, so it’s important to be aware of health histories on both your mother’s and father’s sides.