ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Firstborn of young mothers live longer

Updated on November 10, 2008

We've all read or heard about birth order and its effect on our behaviors: the firstborn is the most sensitive, the youngest excels in school, the middle child craves attention, etc.

A recent study offers a different twist: it suggests that the firstborn child of mothers under the age of 25 are almost twice as likely to live longer than the average life span and eventually become a centenarian (someone 100 years or older).

University of Chicago's Center for Aging recently published a study that examined the family histories of 991 American centenarians born from 1875 to 1899. The study, led by Leonid Gavrilov, found that firstborn children of mothers under the age of 25 were 1.7 times as likely to reach their 100th birthday than other children.

More specifically, the study found:

  • firstborn daughters are three times more likely to survive to age 100, compared to later-born daughters of higher birth orders (7 and beyond)
  • firstborn sons are twice more likely to become centenarians compared to sons having birth order between four and six

Comparisons of centenarians with their siblings found that the protective effect of being firstborn is due mostly to the mother's younger age at the child's birth (being born to a mother younger than 25 years).

Why?

Scientists are still not sure, but the age of the mother at birth seems to be the strongest predictor of the child's longevity. This may be due to the fact that her eggs are younger (and therefore generally less likely to have mutations), or it could be that younger mothers are generally healthier, so they provide a healthier environment for growth of the fetus in the womb.

Details of this study will be published in the January 2007 issue of the North American Actuarial Journal.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 

      6 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      this is fascinating. i love finding out these new little facts. 100+ here we come!

    • profile image

      Susan 

      6 years ago

      Or it could be not age per se, but the fact that the mother's body was depleted of nutrients, etc. after that fifth or sixth baby, probably in quick succession. Native peoples had on average 4 children or so I believe and spaced them widely.

    • profile image

      Breanna 

      7 years ago

      Yeah, thanks stupid article. Promote teen pregnancy.

      All the women in my family had kids when they were in their 30s. My great aunt lived to 100 and my great grandfather was 92. Longevity is more based on genetics than birth order or having a 20 year old mom.

    • profile image

      maxine rhodes 

      8 years ago

      i am the first born my mother 21 went she having

    • profile image

      rudy 

      9 years ago

      I hope this is true, I'm a first born and male and my mother gave birth to me when she was 18!

    • Chinese Birth Man profile image

      Chinese Birth Man 

      10 years ago

      I found this article to be very well written and very interesting.

    • profile image

      Yadira 

      11 years ago

      Hope that is true, I was born to a mother younger than 25 and I am hoping to live over 100 years old!! :)

    • gredmondson profile image

      gredmondson 

      11 years ago from San Francisco, California

      That is interesting, Livelonger.

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 

      11 years ago from Scotland

      this is one of those times when i say out loud to my computer i didnt know that wow.....jimmy

    • livelonger profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Menayan 

      11 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you, Drax.

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 

      11 years ago from NYC....

      this is fascinating Livelonger, great hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)