Women who have children in their 30s are more likely to live longer, study finds
New research has examined the life spans of women
Women who have children in their 30’s are more likely to live longer, new research has suggested. A study published in the Journal of Public Health by researchers at the University of Coimbra in Portugal found that women tend to live longer if they get pregnant later in life – and this is particularly true if they wait to have their first child.
Researchers aggregated data from EU countries between 2004 and 2013 and looked at the life spans of the women, as well as noting if they had children and the age in which they had their first. They also examined other factors that would affect a woman’s life expectancy.
In their conclusion, the authors wrote: ‘There are several determinant factors of women’s life expectancy. The most surprising factor is the age of women at pregnancy, which may provide evidence to promote pregnancy in the early 30s.’
Lead researcher Aida Tavares told us that women tend to live longer in countries where pregnancy typically occurs later.
“The study shows that when women have their children later, they tend to live longer,” she explained. “On average, women who had a child at 30 had a life expectancy higher than those [who had a child] at 20.”
Although attitudes have modernised over the last couple of decades regarding what age it is best to have children, there continues to be pressure on the idea that a woman’s fertility rapidly decreases when she hits 30. However, plenty of this research is outdated or has been proven wrong.
While it is often quoted that one in three women over 35 will struggle to get pregnant, this statistic is actually 300 years old. In addition to this, a 2004 study of more than 770 European women found that 82 per cent of 35-39 year olds are likely to get pregnant within a year if they are trying at least twice a week.
In much of the UK, the majority of all births are to women over 30. According to the Office of National Statistics report in 2015, 53 per cent of all live births in England and Wales were to mothers over 30 – with the average age of a mother being 30.3 years. Two thirds of fathers (68 per cent) were aged 30 and over.
The average age of first-time mothers is just under 30 at 28.6 years old. An ONS statistician said at the time: “Falling birth rates among the under 30’s and rising birth rates at older ages reflect trends evident since the mid-1970s to delay childbearing to later ages.”
From: ELLE UK