By Riva Preil
According to NPR, a recent study published in the journal Menopause revealed that women who gave birth to their last child after the age of thirty three are twice as likely to live until the age of ninety five (or beyond!) when compared to women who birthed their last child before age twenty nine.
Thomas Perls, a geriatrician at Boston Medical Center, hypothesizes that the ability to conceive at more advanced ages is correlated with a SLOWLY AGING BODY, including the reproductive system. Other research suggests that there may be a genetic connection between longevity and the ability to bear children later in life.
However you slice it, it would be incorrect to state that there is a direct cause and effect relationship between birthing at later ages and living longer. After all, there is a degree of CHOICE involved with conception. Older women may choose to use contraception even if they theoretically have the ability to conceive.
Therefore, a different and possibly more accurate factor to consider is the age of menopause. This component accounts for the length of an individual’s reproductive ability, and it would be fascinating to explore whether or not there is a connection between this process (which is NOT in the woman’s control) and longevity.
Time will tell…let the research begin! Until then, may ALL pregnant women have happy, healthy, and safe pregnancies and long happy lives!