Good news for “double” moms. The results of a research carried out at the University of Utah (USA) confirmed that mothers, who naturally bear twins live longer, have more offspring and bear children at shorter intervals. Moreover, they give birth to the last child at a higher age than other mothers.
The results of this study do not suggest that having twins is so good for women, only that healthier women are more likely to give birth to twins. Generally it is considered that pregnancy and birth are a huge burden for the organism. In case of twin pregnancy, the effort is even greater. Researchers from Utah gave another thesis to the discussion, showing that women bearing twins live longer and are more fertile. These surprising results were obtained after analysis of population data of 58,786 females from Utah. Women born in the years 1807-1899, who lived to age 50 or older were enrolled. Among them 4,603 were the mothers of twins, what creates the largest database of such women. The mothers of twins lived longer after menopause, in relation to other women, moreover, they had more offspring, not only through giving birth to twins. Therefore, among them the intervals between births were shorter than among other mothers and in the end, the age of mothers of twins at the birth of the last child was higher.
Factors prolonging the life expectancy have been the interest of researchers and a wide range of society for a long time. The results of the Utah study are another vote in this discussion. It should be noted, that data of women who lived until menopausal age were analyzed, but not those who died earlier, perhaps even during delivery. Scientists carrying out the study, claim that pregnant women are usually young and healthy, so the risk of dying during childbirth is quite low. The risk of death is higher for mothers of twins, but most of these women reach the age of 50 years, so their further lives can be observed. There are people who consciously modify their behavior to live healthier, and thus longer. Studied mother of twins did not chose the environmental factors, they simply were healthier. This turns attention especially on the role of genetic factors in causing better condition of the organism and its longer survival.
Analysis of data from Utah regarded to women living in the 19th century, who got pregnant naturally and have not undergone any pharmacological contraception or infertility treatment. Therefore, the results obtained cannot be directly transferred on currently living woman assisted pharmacologically or instrumentally to become pregnant. Twins conceived in vitro do not prolong lives of their mothers. Therefore, scientists state that genetic predispositions supported by environmental factors affect greater fertility and better health of women, enabling them twin pregnancy and longer life. Double joy because of bearing twins takes a new meaning.
Study was funded by the National Institute on Aging.
1. University of Utah (2011, May 11). Twinning is winning: Moms of twins live longer, study finds.
2. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 15, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/05/110510211550.htm