The older a woman’s mother was when she was born, the less likely she is to have children, according to a new study.
Canadian researchers analyzed health records of 43,135 American women and found that nearly 20% of women born to mothers older than age 30 remained childless. The figure was 15% for women whose moms gave birth to them between 20 and 24. Of women born to teenaged mothers, 13% of them never went on to have kids.
Those figures are not adjusted for such factors as education level, number of siblings, birth order and other variables and further study is needed to fully understand the link, study leader Olga Basso, an epidemiologist at McGill University, told the Daily News.
Still, the findings published in the journal Human Reproduction are noteworthy because women in America are having babies later in life for a number of factors, including pursuing advanced degrees and establishing careers.
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“Given the widespread tendency to delay childbearing, evaluating the influence of maternal age at birth on offspring fertility is a public health priority,” Basso noted.
“I do not have an explanation for this link — the findings were very consistent, so it may be biology, but it may also be social or familial factors that we have not considered,” Basso told The News.
“I am thinking about examining other aspects of this link this further — as I think it is interesting and important, given that couples wait longer to have children. I plan to examine other aspects of this in these data, and also collaborate with others interested in the question.”
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