Association of maternal age with child health: A Japanese longitudinal study

Tsuguhiko Kato, Takashi Yorifuji, Michiyo Yamakawa, Sachiko Inoue, Hiroyuki Doi, Akira Eboshida, Ichiro Kawachi

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Average maternal age at birth has been rising steadily in Western and some Asian countries. Older maternal age has been associated with adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes; however, studies on the relationship between maternal age and young children's health remain scarce. Therefore, we sought to investigate the association of maternal age with child health outcomes in the Japanese population. We analyzed data from two birth cohorts of the nationwide Japanese Longitudinal Survey of Babies in 21st Century (n2001 = 47,715 and n2010 = 38,554). We estimated risks of unintentional injuries and hospital admissions at 18 and 66 months according to maternal age, controlling for the following potential confounders: parental education; maternal parity, smoking status, and employment status; household income; paternal age, and sex of the child. We also included the following as potential mediators: preterm births and birthweight. We observed a decreasing trend in the risks of children's unintentional injuries and hospital admissions at 18 months according to maternal age in both cohorts. In the 2001 cohort, compared to mothers <25 years, odds ratios of hospital admission at 18 months were 0.97 [95% CI: 0.86, 1.09], 0.92 [0.81, 1.05], 0.76 [0.65, 0.90], and 0.71 [0.51, 0.98] for mothers aged 25.0-29.9, 30.0-34.9, 35.0-39.9, and >40.0 years, respectively, controlling for confounders. Our findings were in line with previous findings from population-based studies conducted in the United Kingdom and Canada suggesting that older maternal age may be beneficial for early child health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0172544
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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