Study: Women Who Have Children Later Might Live Longer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Longevity and having children later in life might have something to do with one another.

According to a new study from Boston University that’s published in the journal Menopause, women who conceive their last child naturally after the age of 33 live longer.

The keyword, of course, is ‘naturally.’

Researchers say they looked at 462 women who were part of The Long Life Family Study, which included families with members who’d lived to a ripe old age.

The scientists then compared the ages when the women had their last child and how long they’d lived, and what they found was quite interesting.

Women who got pregnant naturally with their last child after 33 were twice as likely to live to 95 as those who’d had their last child before hitting 30.

However, “this does not mean women should wait to have children at older ages in order to improve their own chances of living longer,” explained Dr. Thomas Perls, the corresponding author and a professor of medicine at BUSM. “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 is aging slowly, and therefore so is the rest of her body.”

“This study supports findings from other studies demonstrating a positive association between older maternal age and greater odds for surviving to an unusually old age,” the researchers conclude.

For more information on the study, click here.

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