Offspring of Younger Moms Face More Health Problems

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According to some newly published research conducted by Mikko Myrskylä of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, maternal age matters much less when it comes to evaluating the health of the child as an adult than was previously thought.

Contrary to popular perception, advanced maternal age has less of an effect on the health of the adult child than several other factors. Rather, the more important factors include the mother's education level and how long she lives past delivery and remains in her child's life that have the greatest effects on the child's health as an adult.

Myrskylä evaluated data from 18,000 US mothers and their children and determined that these women were on the whole just as healthy as women who gave birth between the ages of 25 and 34.

Advanced maternal age however does indeed have an impact in terms of increased risk for miscarriage and for genetic disorders. However, it wasn't older mothers that Myrskylä determined were likely to have children who grow up and struggle with various diagnoses, increased mortality at a younger age, and increased risk of obesity as adults; rather, these traits were associated with mothers who gave birth before the age of 24. The numbers get even worse for mothers in their teens.

"With respect to adult age early births appear to be more dangerous for children than late ones," says Myrskylä.

Source: Max Planck Institute


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