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Babies born to older moms are healthier, study finds

Wednesday - 5/23/2012, 6:02am  ET

toddler on tractor (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)
Kids born to mothers over 40 tend to have higher IQ scores. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)

WASHINGTON - Many women are waiting to have children later in life, and new research suggests children of older mothers tend to be healthier than the kids of younger women.

A British study also finds that children born to mothers over 40 tend to have higher IQ scores and a broader vocabulary during their formative years.

Researchers at the Institute of Child Health, University College London and Birkbeck College, London tell The Daily Mail their findings indicate older mothers can make better parents.

Their study finds that children of older women are less likely to have accidents or the need to go to the hospital. Researchers say the older mothers may be more risk averse - in part because they are less active and it's tougher to run after their little ones. But they also may be better and identifying potentially risky situations.

Older mothers are still at more risk of having health problems linked to childbirth.

The study examined 1,100 children born to women 40 and over, comparing them with 38,000 children born to younger women in Britain. The children were between the ages of nine months and five years.

WTOP's Mitchell Miller contributed to this story. Follow Mitchell and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)