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Extended maternal age at birth of last child and women’s longevity in the Long Life Family Study

Sun, Fangui PhD1; Sebastiani, Paola PhD1; Schupf, Nicole PhD2; Bae, Harold PhD1; Andersen, Stacy L. BS3; McIntosh, Avery BS1; Abel, Haley BS4; Elo, Irma T. PhD5; Perls, Thomas T. MD, MPH3

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000276
Original Articles
Editorial

Objective: This study investigated the association between maternal age at birth of last child and likelihood of survival to advanced age.

Methods: This was a nested case-control study using Long Life Family Study data. Three hundred eleven women who survived past the oldest 5th percentile of survival (according to birth cohort–matched life tables) were identified as cases, and 151 women who died at ages younger than the top 5th percentile of survival were identified as controls. A Bayesian mixed-effect logistic regression model was used to estimate the association between maternal age at birth of last child and exceptional longevity among these 462 women.

Results: We found a significant association for older maternal age, whereby women who had their last child beyond age 33 years had twice the odds for survival to the top 5th percentile of survival for their birth cohorts compared with women who had their last child by age 29 years (age between 33 and 37 y: odds ratio, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.13 to 3.92; older age: odds ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.03 to 3.68).

Conclusions: This study supports findings from other studies demonstrating a positive association between older maternal age and greater odds for surviving to an unusually old age.

From the 1Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA; 2Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY; 3New England Centenarian Study, Geriatrics Section, School of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA; 4Division of Biostatistics, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO; and 5Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Received March 5, 2014; revised and accepted April 15, 2014.

Funding/support: The Long Life Family Study was funded by the US National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health (cooperative agreements U01AG023712, U01AG23744, U01AG023746, U01AG023749, and U01AG023755).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Website (www.menopause.org).

Address correspondence to: Thomas T. Perls, MD, MPH, New England Centenarian Study, Geriatrics Section, School of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA. E-mail: thperls@bu.edu

© 2015 by The North American Menopause Society.