A study of the Utah Population Database at the University of Utah which tracks the original Mormon pioneers and their descendants finds that women who are still able to reproduce in their 40s also live longer.
SALT LAKE CITY, May 4, 2009 – Women who have babies naturally in their 40s or 50s tend to live longer than other women. Now, a new study shows their brothers also live longer, but the brothers' wives do not, suggesting the same genes prolong lifespan and female fertility, and may be more important than social and environmental factors.
"If women in your family give birth at older ages, you may well have a chance of living longer than you would otherwise," says the study's lead author, demographer Ken R. Smith, a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah. "If you have a female relative who had children after age 45, then there may be some genetic benefit in your family that will enhance your longevity."
This is not a surprising result. Women whose bodies are aging more slowly are also more likely to have reproductive organs that can produce babies for a longer period of time.
Studies like this one will eventually lead to the identification of genetic variations that slow the aging process. How will we use this information? Some of us will opt to have our replacement organs grown from cells genetically modified to contain all the genetic variants that make the organs last longer.
Speaking of replacement organs, a good article in Scientific American surveys recent progress in tissue engineering and growth of replacement organs.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 May 04 10:59 PM Aging Studies|