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Late pregnancy linked to family longevity

Late pregnancy linked to family longevityFinally, here is a research study which has something positive to say about advanced maternal age. Women who have babies the natural way (e.g. without the aid of assisted reproduction) late in life tend to live longer than other women. In fact, women who become pregnant at age 45 or older have a lower likelihood of dying soon after their 50th birthday than women who deliver babies at the age of 40 or younger. Much more, it is not only the late fertile women who live longer, but their blood relatives as well.

Women are always warned, advised against having babies late in life. Advanced maternal age has been linked to a lot of pregnancy complications that present health risks to both mother and child. But it seems that once these hurdles are overcome, late-bearing women are actually rewarded with a longer lifespan. So what is it that makes them live longer.

The reason for the link between “late fertility” and longevity lie in the genes, accoridng to researchers at the University of Utah. In a study of health and family records of about 18,000 Utah and Quebec residents from the 1600s to the 1800s, late fertility in a female member of the family has been linked to longer lifespan to other family members. Brothers of women with late babies, for example, tend to live longer that those who didn’t have late-bearing sisters. However, while the brothers live longer, their wives didn’t (sisters-in-lwas aren’t blood relatives), indicating that environmental factors (good nutrition, healthy lifestyle) don’t play an important role in this aspect of longevity but genetic factors do.

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