Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Childless women risk poorer health in later life

12.09.2006
Childless women run the risk of earlier death and poorer health in later life.

A new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) finds that not only childless women but also mothers of five or more children, teenage mothers and mothers who have children with less than an 18 month gap between births all have higher risks of death and poor health later in life.

Findings are based on a study of three separate datasets of women born from 1911 onwards in Great Britain and the USA. “We already know quite of lot about the impact of a person’s very early life or their socio-economic history on health and mortality in later life,” explains researcher Professor Emily Grundy of the Centre for Population Studies, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London. “But, in this study we were able to analyse the long-term health implications of a person’s partnership and parenting experiences while taking into account education and other indicators of socio-economic status as well.”

The study reveals that partnership and parenting experiences are important influences on later life health. “We show, for example, that having a short birth interval of less than 18 months between children carries higher risks of mortality and poor health,” Professor Emily explains. “That finding is particularly interesting because, to our knowledge, it’s the first time that later health consequences of birth intervals have been investigated in a developed country population.”

Fathers whose wives have short birth intervals also appear to suffer slightly increased mortality risks. Researchers suggest that the physiological and psychosocial stresses associated with caring for young children close in age may be the important factor.

This study also provides further evidence of the link between teenage motherhood and poorer health in later life. It also reveals that teenage mothers have poorer mental health at age 53 than other mothers. “What’s particularly interesting here is that our findings indicate poorer health outcomes for women who have children before age 21 regardless of their socio-economic circumstances in childhood,” Professor Grundy points out. Previous research has shown that many teenage mothers had already experienced poor health in early childhood. But, this study indicates the higher risks of poorer later life health for teenage mothers whatever their background.

At the other end of the motherhood age scale, this study reveals that women who have a child over the age of 40 experience better health in later life. But the reason, researchers suggest, is not necessarily that having children later makes women healthier rather that women who conceive at that age must already be in good health and feel fit enough to bring children up.

In terms of the influence of partnership on later life health and mortality, this study confirms other research which indicates that marriage provides more health gains for men than women. For men, spending a long time in a stable marriage and avoiding multiple marriages and divorce contributes to long-term health.

For women, too, marriage may be better for their health than they currently believe. The study shows that when self-rating their health, married women report poorer health than unmarried women. But the mortality rates of unmarried women are higher than those of married women.

“We have shown that partnership and parenting histories are important influences on later life health and, in many cases, are as influential as the effects of a person’s socio-economic status,” Professor Gundy concludes. “Overall, these findings clearly have important implications for projections of the health status of the older population as well as contributing to our understanding of life course influences on health.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Professor Emily Grundy on 0207 299 4668 or
Email: Emily.grundy@lshtm.ac.uk
Or Alexandra Saxon or Annika Howard at ESRC, on 01793 413032/413119

Annika Howard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk
http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>