Mums who give birth later in life may live longer, study suggests

Older mum with baby

Experts say new research indicates women that have babies later in their childbearing years may live longer than those who have children before they’re 29.

Maternal age vs life span

“The Long Life Family Study (LLFS) reported that the odds of living up to the top fifth percentile were two times higher for women who had their last child past the age of 33 years than for those who had their last child before the age of 29,” science-focused media outlet News Medical reports.

The Long Life Family Study arrived at this longer life-span theory by looking at a group of mums’ telomeres.

Telomeres are parts of our cells that affect how we age. They’re like a little ‘cap’ at the end of our DNA strands, designed to protect our chromosomes and prevent DNA loss.

These Telomeres are known to diminish or decrease in length as we get older, but this particular study found that women who gave birth later in her childbearing years – past the age of 33 – had longer telomeres than those under the age of 29.

Longer-lasting cells

Researchers are now trying to work out if these longer cells in older mums might confirm that having babies after the age of 33 increases longevity.

“With longevity and the ability to bear children at an older age associated with longer telomere length, this study suggests that a higher maternal age of successful child bearing may be a marker of healthy aging,” The North American Menopause Society executive director Dr JoAnn Pinkerton explained.

Early days

That said, Dr Pinkerton suggested that other factors come into play when predicting lifespan in relation to maternal age, so there is more work to be done.

“It’s important to remember that personal and social factors often influence childbearing age,” Dr Pinkerton noted.

Still, it’s nice to hear some potential health positives for women considering babies in their 30s and beyond.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the research as more is (hopefully) revealed.


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