Attention older moms: you may have genes for longer life

Can you believe, women who have children after the age of 33 are twice as likely to live to 95 or older than those who stopped having babies by the age of 29? Well its true. at least scientists claim so.

Several demographic studies around the world have been performed based on child bearing age versus maternal longevity:

  • A large collaborative project, funded by the US National Institute on Aging was conducted for 3 years in Denmark and USA. The study known as “Long Life Family Study” showed that 551 ladies had exceptional longevity compared to their siblings comprised of 311 women who had relatively low child bearing age compared to the previous group.
  • A study published in Menopause, the journal of North American Menopause Society, revealed that 462 women who showed that top five percentile of childbearing age were two times more likely to live to 95 years or older.
  • The New England Centenarian Study (NECS) at BUSM found that women who gave birth to a child after the age of 40 were four times more likely to live to 100 than women who had their last child at a younger age.So what may be the reason? What doesn’t kill women rather makes them stronger?The circumstances were very different in the generation examined compared to recent times. The modern fashion of delayed childbearing was not the social norm then. In those circumstances, only sexually active and healthy women were able to become pregnant, sustain a pregnancy and deliver a child.The latest research confirms and extends the findings of several other studies. Collectively, their findings suggest that women who have sound health are likely to live longest and remain fertile for several decades. Thomas Perls, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), USA, explained that apparent genetic variants that help enable women to have babies by natural means at a later age may also be associated with longevity, though increased maternal age is also associated with an increased rate of  chromosomal translocation in the egg. The reproductive system can be an indicator of overall heath and therefore, the age at last childbirth can be a rate of aging indicator. The natural ability to have a child at an older age likely indicates that a woman’s reproductive system along with the rest of the body is aging slowly.
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Arunima Maiti

Arunima Maiti

Biomedical scientist with special interest in reproductive biology.

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