Israeli researchers discover anti-aging genes in ultra-Orthodox women (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Dan Even 04/10/12)
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Women who give birth after 45 live longer than other women, Israeli
researchers have found.
Researchers at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, found that at
least four genes unique to women who conceive naturally after 45
generate an anti-aging effect on those women. The findings were the
result of a genetic study of ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi women from Mea
She´arim who have at least six children.
"These findings are unique to Israel, and the group of women who give
birth at a late age and carry the singular genes could explain the
findings," said Neri Laufer, the chairman of Hadassah´s obstetrics
and gynecology department, who had a leading role in the study.
The DNA findings, which were recently reported at a Canadian
Fertility and Andrology Society conference, could be the first step
toward groundbreaking treatment that could help "rejuvenate the body"
of women and men, said Laufer.
"Finding genes identified with the ability to conceive spontaneously
at a late age can help us identify more women who carry these genes
and are unaware of the possibility of conceiving at a late age," he
said. "We also hope it will enable developing medical treatments that
activate the genetic quality we identified in other women."
At least four of the genes identified by the researchers as part of a
DNA fingerprint allowing women to give birth past 45 were found to
inhibit apoptosis, or programmed cell death, generating an anti-aging
effect in the women. Three additional genes found in the women are
also associated with longevity.
The seven genes were among 60 that distinguished the DNA of women who
conceived naturally after 45 from Ashkenazi women of the same age who
had their last child by they time they were 30.
The mortality rate for 245,845 women who gave birth in Israel in the
past several decades dropped the later the women gave birth to their
last child, according to the researchers.
They found that the mortality rate for women with no children is 4.9
per 1,000. It dips to 3.4 among women who give birth by 35, 2.6 among
women who give birth over 40, and 1.6 among women who give birth
The findings are a follow-up to earlier studies that showed that
women´s mortality rate was lower the more children they had, even
among those with more than six children. The studies were first
conducted in 1972, 1983 and 1995.
Laufer warned that women who delay having children could have
difficulty getting pregnant, despite the reproductive technology
"Women should be aware that advancing their career at the expense of
childbirth could come at the expense of reduced ability to conceive
after the age of 35," he said.
A study of the Haredi women was first published in May 2004 in the
journal Fertility and Sterility. Two years later, a team of Hadassah
researchers studied Bedouin women who conceived naturally after 45.
Hospital researchers also conducted a study on mice to examine
whether certain anti-aging proteins are secreted during pregnancy,
making it easier for the body to rejuvenate itself.
They found that older pregnant mice - roughly comparable to women in
their 40s - recovered from liver damage faster than mice that weren´t
"They found pregnancy leads to secreting a protein that enables the
liver to recover faster," said Laufer. "Perhaps exposing older women
who have trouble getting pregnant, or even men, to these proteins
could rejuvenate the body and enhance its ability to recover at an
older age." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/10/12)
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