The age at which a mother gives birth has a major impact on how long her child will live, according to study result by American researchers available.
The chances of living to 100 and beyond nearly double for a child born to a woman before her 25th birthday, Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova from the University of Chicago's Center on Aging told the Chicago Actuarial Association meeting.
But the father's age is less important to longevity, according to their new study.
Using U.
Census data, the Social Security Administration database, and genealogical records, Gavrilov and Gavrilova studied 198 centenarians born in the U.
from 1890 to 1893 and their family histories to try to identify possible predictors of longevity.
In a previous study, Gavrilov and Gavrilova's team identified birth order as a possible predictor of an exceptionally long life.
They observed that first-born children, especially daughters, are much more likely to live to age 100.
But their latest study suggested that it is the young age of the mother, rather than birth order, which is key to longevity.
The finding "may have important social implications," Gavrilov added in a statement, "because many women postpone their childbearing to later ages because of career demands.