Mental acuity is known to fade as the years go on, and, for women, the decline tends to be most pronounced in the time following menopause. There are some, however, who fare better than others.
A recent study suggests that women who had their last baby after the age of 35 are among them.
The study, led by an assistant professor from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, involved 830 women with an average age of 60. All were given tests designed to measure a variety of abilities related to cognition, memory, and motor function.
The results were then assessed in relation to each individual’s reproductive history. Those who were 35 or over when they gave birth for the last time were among those who performed better in the brainpower exercises. Other groups exhibiting higher degrees of mental sharpness included women who menstruated for the first time prior to the age 13 and participants that had taken oral contraceptives for at least 10 years.
The study’s author believes the benefit of those factors comes down to their role in producing and stabilizing sex hormones.