The women’s age when they give birth is a constant research focus in relevant research community. It did, however, prove to be leading toward a mainstream conclusion: bearing children while older is often accompanied by several problems, be it a higher risk of autism development or the occurrence of birth defects. Other studies found the opposite, as researchers discovered lower rates of brain and kidney defects at older mothers’ infants. Now there are new findings suggesting that older mothers’ longevity is significantly higher than for women who give birth earlier in life.
Older mother’s longevity – research findings
Boston University Medical Center released data which, according to Science Daily, translate into the good news that women giving birth at an older age are prone to live longer. The study focused on women who had family members living exceptionally long lives. The Long Life Family Study comprises an impressive sample of 551 families. The main conclusion is that mothers giving birth to the last child after the age of 33 had their odds of living up to 95 years doubled, a remarkable improvement for older mother’s longevity.
The study aims at identifying genetic influences on the age length. The follow-up question is how do the socio-economic conditions of mothers bearing children at older age? It appears that both the mother’s education and income levels influence both the mother’s and the infant’s health and overall wellbeing. More educated mothers tend to bear children at older ages, thus skewing the overall statistics on mothers’ ages and health issues. Keeping in mind the fact that pregnancy is a strong candidate for gender discrimination at employment, a women who gives birth at 35 will have had by then enough time to get education and job promotions. In the end, when you look deeper into the topic of older mothers’ longevity, it appears that poverty is the main reason behind teen pregnancy. There are several explanations for it. The strongest reasoning appeals to the poor women’s range of choices: not getting a full education and, subsequently, not getting a (well paid) job can lead to having children at younger age. But the direct correlation between them does not seem to be fully understood, explanations being often ended with vague conclusions such as ‘cultural norm’.
The “Extended maternal age at birth of last child and women’s longevity in the Long Life Family Study” will be published in January 2015. It will be a proper moment to reassess the conclusions regarding older mothers’ longevity in the face of a complete scientific argument.