Longevity Begets Longevity (To Some Degree)

Unsuprisingly, women who can give birth later in life tend to live longer - unsurprising at least from a reliability theory viewpoint of aging as accumulated damage. If you can have a child later in life, you are most likely less damaged than your peers, and therefore more likely to live longer. "Women who have babies naturally in their 40s or 50s tend to live longer than other women. Now, a new study shows their brothers also live longer, but the brothers' wives do not, suggesting the same genes prolong lifespan and female fertility, and may be more important than social and environmental factors. ... Women who had 'late fertility' - a birth at age 45 or older - were 14 percent to 17 percent less likely to die during any year after age 50 than women who did not deliver a child after age 40. That confirmed earlier studies. But those studies did not determine if the women gave birth later and lived longer because of genes or because of social and environmental factors such as good nutrition or healthy living. ... The study didn't address how much longevity is due to genetics, [but] scientists believe genes account for up to 25 percent of differences in longevity." The real lesson to take away from this is that the majority of factors influencing your longevity are not genetic and therefore under your control.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-05/uou-lmb050109.php

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