Mature ladies, rejoice! Older moms may live longer

A new study finds that women who have babies later are more likely to live long and prosper* (*okay, we threw in the prosper bit because yay, older moms!)

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Photograph: Shutterstock

Photograph: Shutterstock


If you’re a lady New Yorker age 30 or above who’s thinking baby thoughts—specifically, feeling panicked by the relentless scare stats on how women’s fertility declines after 35—then you may be mightily interested by today’s conception newsflash. A new study in the snappily titled journal Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society shows that women who give birth after 33 are more likely to live longer. And not just a little longer—a lot longer.
 
The Boston Globe (via Jezebel) reports of the study, “It compared 311 women in the Long Life Family Study who lived to at least 95 years of age with 151 counterparts who died at younger ages and found that those who gave birth past the age of 33 had twice the odds of living to 95 years or older compared with the control group who had their last child by age 29.”
 
Hear that, ladies? Twice the odds! Welcome news for older moms, for sure. (Time Out cover star and sophisticated mama Tina Fey will surely be pleased.) But hold the piñata for a second. The study doesn’t suggest that having babies later actually causes longer life, rather, that if a woman is able to get pregnant naturally when she’s older, it’s a sign that her reproductive system is in sparkling health—and so, it follows, the rest of her body is probably aging well, too.
 
The study’s principal investigator, Thomas Perls, told The Washington Post: “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.”
 
The massive plus of this finding is that if you do decide to have kids later, you’ll likely be in better, perkier condition as your children get older than some of your contemporaries. And, of course, we've already established that NYC is the best place to raise a family. Now can we have the piñata?


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