Oxidative stress is hypothesized to contribute to age‐related somatic deterioration. Both reproductive and ecological context may necessitate tradeoffs that influence this outcome. We examined whether measures of lifetime reproductive effort were related to levels of oxidative stress biomarkers in peri‐ and post‐menopausal women and whether associations were moderated by rural or urban residence.
We surveyed 263 healthy women (age 62.1 ± 10.0 SD) from rural (N = 161) and urban Poland (N = 102), collecting sociodemographic data and urine samples to analyze biomarkers of oxidative stress (8‐oxo‐2′‐deoxyguanosine, 8‐OHdG) and antioxidative defense (copper‐zinc superoxide dismutase, Cu‐Zn SOD). Linear regression models, adjusted for residence, were used to test for associations between reproductive effort and 8‐OHdG and Cu‐Zn SOD.
Univariate models demonstrated significant associations between gravidity and the biomarkers of oxidative stress (8‐OHdG:
Higher lifetime reproductive effort contributes to increases in oxidative stress and antioxidative defenses. Our results provide evidence of potential mechanisms underlying the physiological tradeoffs influencing senescence for women with high reproductive effort.more »