Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Early Motherhood May Shorten a Woman's Life

A Finish study finds an interesting correlation:

Women who start a family early in life tend to die younger, a study of childbirth and longevity has revealed.

A trawl through thousands of church records in Finland dating to the 17th and 18th centuries has found a correlation between the age at which a woman had her first child, the number of children she had, and the age at which she died.

The scientists behind the study - one of the biggest on pre-industrial society - believe the findings indicate that women who delay starting a family and have fewer children may have a natural tendency to live longer than women who become mothers at a young age.

Obviously, we need more information before we can draw any conclusions.


At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a VERY problematic study. Anyone who does historical demography knows that the number of births shorten women's lives due to the high rate of death in childbirth. The Finnish study couldn't really distinguish between adverse effects of early births and adverse effects of giving birth early.

At 10:14 PM, Blogger ema said...

Did you read the study? [I didn't.] From my reading of the report, I thought pregnancy-related deaths were excluded? In any case, I wish reporters would link to the study they're discussing. This way we could evaluate it ourselves, and we wouldn't have to waste time locating it.


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