web analytics

Reproduction Later in Life Is a Marker of Longevity for Women


Image credit: Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

During the period from 1970 to 2006, the women aged over 35 gave birth to their first baby have been increased by more than eight times. This trend depends on various factors, including well-developed assistance techniques for fertility.

However, a new research undertaken by Thomas Perls of Boston University School of Medicine has shown that a natural ability of giving birth to children at older age would make it possible for mothers to live over 95 or much older. Such was released in the Menopause, the official journal of the North American Menopause Society.

Being partnership with the Long Life Family Study, the research was targeted at the analysis of the genetics and other factors influencing people with exceptional longevity. To carry out the study, the researchers had analyzed 551 families and then they discovered that if women could be naturally able to bear children past the age of 33 , they were twice as possibly to live up to 95 years old than women who stopped bearing children before the age of 30.

However, Perls said in a press release that this possibility did not really indicate women have to expect children at older ages so as to enhance the chances of living longer, because the age at last childbirth could be a rate of aging indicator, therefore, the natural ability to have a child at an older age could possibly  demonstrate that a woman’s reproductive system was aging slowly and so was the rest of her body.

It is speculated by the researchers that it should be genetic, as the variants of certain genes would be important in regulate the effects of aging. While it might be the reason that these women are reproductively fit longer, it could be also associated with to other age-related processes, ensuring the women to live longer.

As Perls explained, with such variants, a woman was capable of reproducing and bearing children for a longer period of time, thus enhancing her chances of passing down those genes to the next generation. This could clearly show why 85 percent of women could live to 100 or more years while only 15 percent of men were able to achieve it.

To the surprise of the researchers, this link was only applied to women who had three children or fewer. If the woman had four or more children, even at an older age, it did not necessarily correlate with the extended longevity.

However, women should face some kind of risk factors linked with advanced maternal age, for example, more risks in preterm birth, fetal chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome, hypertension as well as gestational diabetes.

Source: Eurekalert!