CHICAGO (AP) - A sperm donor passed on a potentially deadly genetic heart condition to nine of his 24 children, including one who died at age 2 from heart failure, according to a medical journal report.
Two children, both now teenagers, have developed symptoms and are at risk for sudden cardiac death, the report says. It’s the second documented instance of a genetic condition being inherited through sperm donation.
The latest case highlights the importance of thoroughly screening sperm donors, according to the report and an editorial published with it in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.
The San Francisco sperm bank involved now gives all donors electrocardiogram tests to weed out men with genetic heart problems; the study authors recommend that other sperm banks follow suit.