Giving Birth Shortens a Woman’s Life Expectancy by Up to Two Years
A new study, executed by researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois, US, finds that giving birth shortens a woman’s life by up to two years. That means the more children a woman has, the shorter her lifespan may be.
For the study, the researchers examined 3,200 women aged from 20 to 22 years in the Philippines. They found that every birth has a damaging effect at the cellular level, having looked at two markers of cellular aging —telomere length and epigenetic age. These two factors may predict mortality.
Lead author Calen Ryan says: “Both [markers] appeared ‘older’ in women who had more pregnancies in their reproductive histories. Even after accounting for other factors that affect cellular aging, the number of pregnancies still came out on top.”
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