Home' Australian Pharmacist : May 2011 Contents Vol.30–May#05
and later socioeconomic status, a
first birth before the age of 20 is
associated with a reduced lifespan
40 Older age (35 years
or older) at first birth is, however,
associated with increased risk of
breast and brain cancers, while
younger age (19 years or younger)
at first birth is associated with
an increased risk of cervical and
endometrial cancers in mothers.41
‘Older mothers have a longer life
expectancy than do women who
bear children earlier in life.’
In an attempt to finish on a positive
note for the children of older parents,
the results of several studies suggest
that the social advantages may make up
for biological or medical disadvantages
for the children of older parents.4,14
Older parents usually have a secure
financial state (e.g . Sir Elton John), have
achieved educational and career goals, a
marriage or relationship that has had an
opportunity to reach a certain stability,
and have age related attributes such as
emotional maturity, wisdom, and life
experience, which increase confidence
in child rearing abilities.
could explain why such children tend
to do better at school than those of
very young parents, after controlling for
obvious social influences.4,14
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4442.0 – Family
Characteristics and Transitions, Australia, 2006–07.
2. Caplan AL, Patrizio P. Are you ever too old to have a
baby? The ethical challenges of older women using
infertility services. Semin Reprod Med. 2010; 28:281–6.
3. Charlton BG. Psychological neoteny and higher
education: associations with delayed parenthood. Med
Hypotheses. 2007; 69:237–40.
4. Stein Z, Susser M. The risks of having children in later
life. Social advantage may make up for biological
disadvantage. BMJ. 2000; 320:1681–2.
5. O’Reilly-Green C, Cohen WR. Pregnancy in women
aged 40 and older. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1993;
6. de La Rochebrochard E, Thonneau P. Paternal age > or
= 40 years: an important risk factor for infertility. Am J
Obstet Gynecol. 2003; 189:901–5.
7. de La Rochebrochard E, McElreavey K, Thonneau P.
Paternal age over 40 years: the “amber light” in the
reproductive life of men? J Androl. 2003; 24:459–65.
8. Nybo Andersen AM, Wohlfahrt J, Christens P, et al.
Maternal age and fetal loss: population based register
linkage study. BMJ. 2000; 320:1708–12.
9. Fisch H. Older men are having children, but the reality
of a male biological clock makes this trend worrisome.
Geriatrics. 2009; 64:14–7.
10. Sartorius GA, Nieschlag E. Paternal age and
reproduction. Hum Reprod Update. 2010; 16:65–79.
11. Shah PS. Paternal factors and low birthweight, preterm,
and small for gestational age births: a systematic
review. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010; 202:103–23.
12. Tang CH, Wu MP, Liu JT, et alC. Delayed parenthood
and the risk of cesarean delivery – is paternal age an
independent risk factor? Birth. 2006; 33:18–26.
13. Tarin JJ, Brines J, Cano A. Long-term effects of delayed
parenthood. Hum Reprod. 1998; 13:2371–6.
14. Nassar AH, Usta IM. Advanced maternal age. Part
II: long-term consequences. Am J Perinatol. 2009;
15. Cardwell CR, Stene LC, Joner G, et al. Maternal age at
birth and childhood type 1 diabetes: a pooled analysis
of 30 observational studies. Diabetes. 2010; 59:486–94.
16. Gale EA. Maternal age and diabetes in childhood. BMJ.
17. Johnson KJ, Carozza SE, Chow EJ, et al. Parental
age and risk of childhood cancer: a pooled analysis.
Epidemiology. 2009; 20:475–83 .
18. Laerum BN, Svanes C, Wentzel-Larsen T, et al. Young
maternal age at delivery is associated with asthma in
adult offspring. Respir Med. 2007; 101:1431–8.
19. Infante-Rivard C. Young maternal age: a risk factor for
childhood asthma? Epidemiology. 1995; 6:178–80.
20. Gross SJ, Mettelman BB, Dye TD, et al. Impact of
family structure and stability on academic outcome in
preterm children at 10 years of age. J Pediatr. 2001;
21. Liu Y, Zhi M, Li X. Parental age and characteristics of
the offspring. Ageing Res Rev. 2011; 10:115–23.
22. Saha S, Barnett AG, Foldi C, et al. Advanced paternal
age is associated with impaired neurocognitive
outcomes during infancy and childhood. PLoS Med.
23. Reichenberg A, Gross R, Weiser M, et al. Advancing
paternal age and autism. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;
24. Cantor RM, Yoon JL, Furr J, et al. Paternal age and
autism are associated in a family-based sample. Mol
Psychiatry. 2007; 12: 419–21.
25. Grether JK, Anderson MC, Croen LA, et al. Risk of
autism and increasing maternal and paternal age in
a large north American population. Am J Epidemiol.
26. Torrey EF, Buka S, Cannon TD, et al. Paternal age as
a risk factor for schizophrenia: how important is it?
Schizophr Res. 2009; 114:1–5.
27. Sipos A, Rasmussen F, Harrison G, et al. Paternal age
and schizophrenia: a population based cohort study.
BMJ. 2004; 329:1070.
28. Zammit S, Allebeck P, Dalman C, et al. Paternal age and
risk for schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry. 2003; 183:405–8.
29. Perls TT, Alpert L, Fretts RC. Middle-aged mothers live
longer. Nature. 1997; 389:133.
30. Yi Z, Vaupel JW. Association of late childbearing
with healthy longevity among the oldest-old in China.
Population Studies – a Journal of Demography. 2004;
31. Spence NJ, Eberstein IW. Age at first birth, parity,
and post-reproductive mortality among white and
black women in the US, 1982–2002. Social Science &
Medicine. 2009; 68:1625–1632.
32. Smith KR, Mineau GP, Bean LL. Fertility and
post-reproductive longevity. Social Biology. 2002;
33. Mirowsky J. Parenthood and health: The pivotal
and optimal age at first birth. Social Forces
34. Mirowsky J. Age at first birth, health, and mortality.
J Health Soc Behav. 2005; 46:32–50.
35. Grundy E. Women’s fertility and mortality in late mid
life: A comparison of three contemporary populations.
Am J Hum Biol. 2009; 21:541–7.
36. Grundy E, Tomassini C. Fertility history and health in
later life: a record linkage study in England and Wales.
Soc Sci Med. 2005; 61:217–28.
37. Grundy E, Kravdal O. Fertility history and cause-specific
mortality: a register-based analysis of complete cohorts
of Norwegian women and men. Soc Sci Med. 2010:
38. Muller HG, Chiou JM, Carey JR, et al. Fertility and
life span: late children enhance female longevity. J
Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2002; 57:B202–6.
39. Pudrovska T, Carr D. Age at first birth and
fathers’subsequent health: evidence from sibling and
twin models. American Journal of Mens Health. 2009;
40. Henretta JC. Early childbearing, marital status, and
women’s health and mortality after age 50. J Health
Soc Behav. 2007; 48:254–66.
41. Merrill RM, Fugal S, Novilla LB, et al. Cancer risk
associated with early and late maternal age at first
birth. Gynecol Oncol. 2005; 96:583–93.
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