According to a reportfrom the Boston University Medical Center, researchers found that women who have children later in life are predisposed to living longer and the genetic variants that allow them to do so might also make possible remarkably long life spans.
The study appears in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society and indicates that women who are able to have children after the age of 33 have a greater chance of living longer than women who had their last child before the age of 30.
"Of course this does not mean women should wait to have children at older ages in order to improve their own chances of living longer," said coauthor Thomas Perls, MD, MPH. "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."
The study analyzed data from the Long Life Family Study (LLFS), a biopsychosocial and genetic study of 551 families with many members living to remarkably old ages.
The study researchers determined the ages at which 462 women had their last child and how old those women lived to be. The researchers found that women who had their last child after the age of 33 years were twice as likely to live to 95 years or older compared with women who had their last child by age 29.
Additionally, the study results indicate that women may be the impetuses behind the evolution of genetic variants that slow aging and decrease risk for age-related genes.
According to a May 12 article in TIME, the average age of women at their first birth has also risen over the past four decades, and since 2000, 46 states and DC have experienced a rise in the first-birth rate for women over 35.