More kids, longer life?

As people age, their telomeres–the caps at the ends of chromosomes–shorten. But having more children may actually protect the telomeres and lengthen life, suggests a new UBC-SFU study featured in The Atlantic and Yahoo News.

The study followed 75 women who lived in rural areas of southwest Guatemala for 13 years and found that women who had more surviving children at the end of the period had longer telomeres than women who had had fewer offspring.