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Older Moms More Likely to Live Longer

Older Moms More Likely to Live Longer

According to a new study, women who had their children at an older age have a better chance to live to an unusually old age.

The case-control study has been published online in the journal Menopause.

Researchers evaluated data from the Long Life Family Study, an international collaboration to review the genetics and familial components of exceptional survival, longevity, and healthy aging.

Three hundred eleven women who survived past the oldest fifth percentile of survival (according to birth cohort-matched life tables) were identified as cases, while 151 women who died at ages younger than the top fifth percentile of survival served as controls.

Looking at the cases of all 462 women, the study found a significant association for older maternal age — in which women had their last child beyond age 33 years — had twice the odds for survival to the top fifth percentile of survival for their birth cohorts compared with women who had their last child by age 29 years.

Several previous studies had observed a similar association. For example, an analysis of New England Centenarian Study cohort data revealed that women who gave birth to a child after age 40 years had four times greater odds for being a centenarian compared with women from the same birth cohort who had their last child at a younger age.

In this latest study, it was observed that having more children (identified as three or more) moderated the association between increased maternal age and later survival. Mortality was not assessed for women who had no children.

Study authors believe it is significant that numerous studies have documented the same relationship between older maternal age at birth and exceptional survival.

They believe these findings provide evidence for sustained reproductive fitness, with age as a selective force for genetic variants conducive to longer life.

“While this documented relationship is noteworthy, what is more meaningful is that these findings support the need to conduct additional studies that identify the various genetic influences on reproductive fitness, as these could also influence the rate of aging and a woman’s susceptibility to age-related diseases,” said Margery Gass, M.D.

The study will be published in the January 2015 print edition of Menopause.

Source: The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Older Moms More Likely to Live Longer

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Older Moms More Likely to Live Longer. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 26 Jun 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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