The secret of a long and healthy life could be as simple as your mother's age at the time of yourbirth.
Babies born to women under 25 are almost twice as likely to live to 100 as those born to oldermothers, a study has shown.
The finding could have implications for the tens of thousands of British babies born to oldermothers each year.
The trend for delaying parenthood means that almost half of the 720,000 babies born eachyear are born to mothers aged 30-plus.
Previous work by the University of Chicago husband and wife team Dr Leonid Gavrilov and DrNatalia Gavrilov had shown that firstborn children live longer than their younger siblings.
Now it appears the two are linked, with older children living longer because their mothers areyounger when they have them. However, the father's age has little effect on longevity.Now it appears the two are linked, with older children living longer because their mothers areyounger when they have them. However, the father's age has little effect on longevity
The researchers say more work is needed to pin down why the mother's age is so important.But it could be down to simple biology, with egg quality being best in younger women.
The answer could also lie in younger women being healthier than their older counterparts.
Dr Gavrilov said the finding "may have important social implications because many womenpostpone their childbearing to later ages because of career demands".