Older moms tend to live longer, study finds

A silver lining for some older moms: women who are able to naturally have children later in life tend to live longer.

A study published Wednesday found that women who are able to have children after age 33 — without using drugs or other infertility treatments — have a greater chance of living longer than women who had their last child before 30.

The results of the Boston University School of Medicine study are consistent with other findings on the relationship between maternal age at birth of last child and what researchers consider exceptional longevity — generally living until 95 or older.

“We think the same genes that allow a woman to naturally have a kid at an older age are the same genes that play a really important role in slowing down the rate of aging and decreasing the risk for age-related diseases, such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and cancer,” said Thomas Perls, a professor who specializes in geriatrics at Boston University Medical Center, and a principal investigator of the study.

Perls cited Hollywood actress, Halle Berry, who had her second child at age 46, as an example of someone who probably has those genes. “She thought she was going through menopause and she didn’t understand why she had to keep changing her dress size.”

The study was based on analysis of data from the Long Life Family Study, a genetic study of 551 families with many members living to exceptionally old age. Boston Medical Center , the teaching hospital affiliate of the Boston University School of Medicine, is one of four study centers that make up the Long Life Family Study.

Investigators determined the ages at which 462 women had their last child and how old those women lived to be. The research found that women who had their last child after the age of 33 had twice the odds of living to 95 years or older compared with women who had their last child by age 29. Of the 462 women, 274 had their last child at or after age 33.

Perls said women should not take the study findings and purposely delay when to have their children. Researchers don’t know if any of the offspring in the study had congenital problems. Doctors generally advise women that the risk of congenital problems increase with the older age of the mother. “In our case, these are all women with longevity running in their families, so we don’t know if it’s the same risk or not,” Perls said.

The study was published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.

More in Local News

Majority of Marysville City Council seats are contested

The most closely watched race is between Mark James and Donna Wright.

500 tires go up in flames at a store south of Everett

There were no injuries. And it was nowhere near as bad as that months-long tire fire in 1984.

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

A pot deal between teens leaves them injured, facing charges

Police found out about the incident when both ended up at the same hospital that night.

Funds up for council vote would aid conservation district

District stands to receive an extra $1 million each year, if the County Council gives its approval.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Lake Stevens man injured by 50-foot fall near Leavenworth

The rescuers had to tie in to keep from falling due to the steep rugged terrain.

Lynnwood mayor challenged by councilman in general election

Three City Council members also are facing challengers on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Most Read