Early Life Conditions and Later Sex Differences in Adult Lifespan
Natalia S. Gavrilova, University of Chicago
Leonid A. Gavrilov, University of Chicago
Galina N. Evdokushkina, Russian Ministry of Health
Victoria G. Semyonova, Russian Ministry of Health
In this study we tested our earlier hypothesis (and preliminary observations) that early-life conditions may determine in part the later sex differences in adult lifespan. We found that such variables as (1) father's age at person's conception, (2) parental lifespan, and (3) month of birth, have larger effects on adult lifespan (life expectancy at age 30) in females rather than in males. Daughters born to particularly young fathers (below 25 years) or old fathers (above 45 years) live shorter lives, while sons are less affected by paternal age at conception. The dependence of progeny lifespan on parental lifespan has particularly steep slope for female sex of the progeny. Women born in May or December live longer compared to those born in February, while male lifespan is less affected by the season of birth.