Research Paper Volume 3, Issue 12 pp 1202—1205
Exceptional longevity is associated with decreased reproduction
- 1 Institute for Aging Research, and Division of Endocrinology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
Received: December 23, 2011 Accepted: December 26, 2011 Published: December 26, 2011https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.100415
How to Cite
A number of leading theories of aging, namely The Antagonistic Pleiotropy Theory (Williams, 1957), The Disposable Soma Theory (Kirkwood, 1977) and most recently The Reproductive-Cell Cycle Theory (Bowen and Atwood, 2004, 2010) suggest a tradeoff between longevity and reproduction. While there has been an abundance of data linking longevity with reduced fertility in lower life forms, human data have been conflicting. We assessed this tradeoff in a cohort of genetically and socially homogenous Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians (average age ~100 years). As compared with an Ashkenazi cohort without exceptional longevity, our centenarians had fewer children (2.01 vs 2.53, p < 0.0001), were older at first childbirth (28.0 vs 25.6, p < 0.0001), and at last childbirth (32.4 vs 30.3, p < 0.0001). The smaller number of children was observed for male and female centenarians alike. The lower number of children in both genders together with the pattern of delayed reproductive maturity is suggestive of constitutional factors that might enhance human life span at the expense of reduced reproductive ability.