Look Two Steps Back to See One Step Ahead: The Role of Grandmaternal and Grandpaternal Age on Grandchild Survival

Ken R. Smith, University of Utah
Heidi Hanson, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Geraldine P. Mineau, University of Utah

There is growing evidence that an individual’s reproductive history plays a role in affecting their risk of later-life mortality. The question we pose is broader and asks whether very early or very late ages at reproduction among grandparents affects survival among their grandchildren. In other words, if ego’s own parents were conceived by very young or very old parents (ego’s grandparents), does ego experience adverse or beneficial survival effects, independent of maternal and paternal ages? Using records on 225,000 grandchildren with complete data on their parents and their grandparents from the Utah Population Database, we find evidence that supports the prediction that not only do young mothers and older fathers confer a survival disadvantage to their children, but independently, younger grandparental ages are also associated with adverse survival outcomes of their grandchildren.

  See paper

Presented in Session 188: Predictors of Survival, Mortality and Longevity