First-born daughters may live longer

November 4, 2005

Predictors for exceptional human longevity may include birth order, place of birth and early-life living conditions, says a U.S. study.

A study by the Society of Actuaries suggests there are several factors linked to one's longevity. The data indicate that first-born daughters are three times more likely to survive to age 100 compared to later-born daughters.

The research, developed by the SOA in partnership with researchers at the Center on Aging and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, evaluated detailed family data for nearly 1,000 centenarians born in the United States between 1875-1899. Drs. Natalia Gavrilova and Leonid Gavrilov collected data from publicly available computerized genealogies of 75 million individuals identified in previous studies and validated ages and birth dates by linking records to the Social Security Administration Death Master File and reviewing U.S. censuses for years 1900, 1910 and 1920.

"Limited access to parental care, including attention and supervision, may result in less attention being paid to the health and safety of later-born children, resulting in a higher risk of infections and malnutrition during early childhood," says Gavrilova.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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