Kids born to older women start off on better note in life
London: Children born to older mothers appear to have a healthier start in life as they are less likely to be admitted to hospital and more likely to have vital immunisation shots, a new study has claimed.
The new study also found that children with older mothers experienced faster language development and suffered fewer social and emotional difficulties before the age of five.
For the study, researchers from University College London analysed data from more than 78,000 children born in England between 2000 and 2002. The mothers were between 13 and 57 years of age.
According to the authors, older mothers tend to be more educated, have higher incomes and be married.
In developed countries, there has been a strong trend towards later childbearing. In England and Wales, the number of births to women 40 and over trebled from 1989 to 2009 to almost 27,000.
Although there has been substantial research on young mothers and childhood development, there is little evidence of any effects of older mothers, the Daily Mail reported.
So the team looked at outcomes including child weight, accidents, hospital admissions and language development.
Rates were adjusted for several factors, including child’s sex, age, birth weight, father’s age, family income and social class.
Results showed that both the risk of accidents and hospital admissions decreased with increasing maternal age.
The risk of a nine-month-old child with a 20-year-old mother having an accident was 9.5 per cent. This fell to 6.1 percent for a mother of 40 and the decline continued for three and five-year-olds.
Similarly, at nine months, the risk of a child with a 20 year old mother being hospitalised was 16 percent which fell to 10.7 percent for a mother of 40.
Babies were also 98.1 percent likely to have had their immunisations if their mother was 40 compared to 94.6 percent if their mother was half that age.