It is commonly believed that late childbirth exhausts a woman’s body. No one has yet proven otherwise, but new research by American scientists shows that one of the most studied indicators of aging today was less significant among women giving birth late.
A study involving 1,200 women found that the mother’s age at her last birth was related to the length of telomeres and the later they gave birth, the longer the telomeres they had. The telomeres are DNA “tips” and their length is critical for genome stability. For this reason, the length of telomeres is considered a biomarker of longevity and an indicator of aging rate.
A new study has investigated the length of white blood cell telomeres and this is not the first time that scientists see their association with female longevity.
The study confirmed that the mother’s age at last birth has a positive effect on the length of telomeres. So far, scientists are not saying that this automatically means better health and longevity, but on the other hand, there is a lot of evidence of association of short telomeres with increased risks of cardiovascular, neurological and cancer diseases.
Scientists intend to continue research to determine whether childbirth affects telomere elongation or whether its length serves as a biomarker indicating a woman’s ability to give birth at a later age.
Harvard researchers have also studied the impact of telomeres on human health. Their latest experiments have been able to restore telomere lengths, reversing cell aging.