Halle Berry may live well into her 90s. According to new study, women who are able to naturally have children after age 33 have a greater chance of living longer than women who had their last child before 30.
The Boston University of Medicine study examined long-lived families and found that women who had their last child without fertility assistance after 33 were TWICE as likely to live to 95 or older – compared with women who had their children in their 20s.
The study’s findings are consistent with other research on the relationship between maternal age at birth of the last child and “exceptional longevity” –generally living until 95 or older.
Head researcher Thomas Perls explained:
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 disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Perls refers to Halle Berry who had her second child at 46 as an example of someone who probably has these genes. He says:
She thought she was going through menopause and she didn’t understand why she had to keep changing her dress size.
The study has also found that women who had a child after 40 were FOUR times more likely to live to 100 than women who finished their families earlier.
The professor stressed that women should not take the findings to purposely delay having children. Doctors generally advise women that the risk of congenital problems increase with the older age of the mother. He says:
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.
The study was published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.