MPIDR Working Paper

Reproductive history and mortality later in life for Austrian women

Doblhammer, G., Vaupel, J. W.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-1999-012 (November 1999).
Rostock, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung


How does a woman’s reproductive history influence her life span? We find that parity and both an early and late birth significantly influence longevity. The impact of a woman’s reproductive history on her life span is minor, however, compared to the influence of her level of education or family status. Differences according to reproductive history are not explained by differences in educational status or family status. The mortality advantage of women who gave birth in their forties (late mothers) mainly originates from their comparatively lower risk of heart disease, despite an increase in the risk of breast cancer. Do women who give birth later in life age at a slower rate or is their mortality proportionally lower at all ages? We present evidence that from age 70 onward late mothers age at a lower rate. This may be the result of both biological and social factors. (AUTHORS)