Note of clarification: Potential risks to offspring of intrauterine exposure to maternal age-related obstetric complications
Juan J. Tarín, Miguel A. García-Pérez and Antonio Cano
Reproduction, Fertility and Development
29(8) 1653 - 1653
Published: 18 July 2017
AbstractSeveral hypotheses have been proposed to explain the negative effects of delayed motherhood on an offspring’s morbidity later in life. However, these hypotheses are not supported by clinical and epidemiological evidence. Because advanced maternal age is associated with increased risk of obstetric complications, the aim of the present study was to ascertain whether the negative effects on offspring of intrauterine exposure to maternal age-related obstetric complications may explain the reported negative effects of delayed motherhood on offspring. To this end, a literature search was performed to identify relevant publications up to March 2016 on PubMed; references cited in relevant articles were also searched. There was a direct correlation between the risks to offspring conferred by intrauterine exposure to at least one of the obstetric complications present at the time of delivery in women aged ≥35 years and the risks to offspring of delayed motherhood. This correlation was not observed when comparing the risks to offspring of delayed motherhood and the risks associated with maternal transmission of defective mitochondria, chromosomal anomalies or DNA double-strand breaks. Most of the effects on offspring of intrauterine exposure to maternal age-related obstetric complications may be induced by epigenetic DNA reprogramming during critical periods of embryo or fetal development. Women wanting to enrol in a fertility preservation program to offset age-related declines in fertility should be informed not only about their chances of pregnancy and the percentage of live births, but also about the risks to themselves and their prospective offspring of delaying motherhood.
© CSIRO 2017