Telomeres are the end caps of DNA on chromosomes which help DNA replication and gradually get shorter over time. Telomere length has been associated with mortality and morbidity in previous studies conducted, this is the first study to examine telomere links with childbirth.
Researchers report that telomeres among women who had given birth were the equivalent to being 11 years shorters than those who had not given birth. This is a large change that has been reported by other research groups for obesity or smoking. With cross sectional data it is hard to tell if having children is related to telomere shortening or whether women who have children start off with shorter telomeres. There other additional factors to consider which include social support and stress as well as whether similar finding are seen in men.
This study analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which in the USA is a nationally representative study. Researchers note that these findings are still in the preliminary stages and should be confirmed with prospective studies.
Source : https://www.worldhealth.net/news/having-children-ages-women/191