Is a Baby Later in Life a Life Extending Event?

Ulrich Mueller, University of Marburg

There are reports that a late birth may increase a mother’s or a father’s life span. The database used here includes all descendants of King George I of England (1660–1727) and his wife, Sophie Dorothea (1666–1726), born in the royal dynasties in Europe up to 1939 (n=1,672). These descendants formed the uppermost layer of the European aristocracy. A novel feature in this study is the use of pedigree information. In pairs of evermarried full sisters or full brothers, both surviving to 45 or 50 years, both having at least one child, the study examines whether the sibling with the first—or last—child born later in life also lived a longer life. This design controls for genetics, socioeconomic status, parity, social support, child mortality, birth cohort, and various environmental factors. In the 157 pairs of such sisters and 191 pairs of such brothers, later reproduction did not extend the life span.

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Presented in Session 74: Biodemography