Scientists from George Mason University (USA, Virginia) found that childbirth leads to a decrease in telomeres in women, which means accelerated cellular aging and a shorter lifespan.
Scientists came to such conclusions by analyzing the data of 1.5 thousand women aged 20 to 44 years. 444 project participants had never given birth at the time of the survey. Scientists took blood samples from women and measured the length of telomeres in their DNA.
It is known that the length of the telomere caps at the ends of human DNA is directly related to the timing of aging and the duration of human life. Over the years, telomeres shorten, and the body ages.
According to the data obtained, childbirth shortens telomere length by 4.2%, and in general, the presence of children in a woman ages her DNA by 11 years. According to researchers, this is due to the stress not only of the birth itself, but also of the process of raising and raising children. This factor is especially relevant in countries where there is no decree - for example, in the United States.
The findings contradict the results of a study conducted by Malaysian scientists. The latter, on the contrary, argue that the more children a woman has, the longer her telomeres. However, American experts suspect that the data from Malaysian observations are incorrect and to a large extent depend on the fact that the project has received a lot of social support.
Finally, according to scientists from the University of Newcastle, not involved in any of the studies, motherhood does shorten telomeres, but not so dramatically - it only ages DNA by 3 years. "It's like adding 3 drops to a teaspoon," says Dr. Carmen Martin-Ruiz.