Since the 1980s, the global twins birth rate has increased by a third. Researchers say that there are more twin births than ever before, but the world may have reached a climax.
Nearly 1.6 million twins are born every year in the world, and one in 42 babies is born.
But from here on, everything may be difficult. Every time the focus of pregnancy is shifted to a baby, this risk is relatively small.
According to the global summary of “Human Reproduction”, the twinning rate has increased significantly in all regions in the past 30 years, from 32% in Asia to 71% in North America, which has reached a peak.
The researchers collected information on twin rates in 165 countries from 2010 to 2015. Compared them with the rates from 1980 to 1985.
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In Europe and North America, the number of twins per thousand births has become particularly high and has increased from nine to 12 per thousand births worldwide.
However, the twin ratio in Africa has always been high and has not changed much in the past 30 years. This may be due to population growth.
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Africa and Asia account for about 80% of the total number of twins in the world today.
Professor Christiaan Monden, the author of the Oxford University study, said there is a reason for this.
He said: “Africa has a high rate of twins because there are so many identical twins. Twins are born from two separate eggs, which are born there.”
This is probably due to genetic differences between Africans and other populations.
The twin rates in Europe, North America and maritime countries are catching up. Since the 1970s, the increasing use of medically assisted reproduction, such as IVF, ICSI, IVF and ovarian stimulation, has become the main reason.
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All these methods increase the possibility of multiple births.
The commentary said that women who choose to start their families in their later years, use higher contraceptives and generally lower fertility rates also played a role.
Professor Christiaan Monden said that the focus now is on safer singleton pregnancies.
He said: “This is important because the birth of twins increases infant and child mortality. As well as more complications for pregnant women, mothers and children during and after delivery.”
Twins are born with more complications, more frequent preterm births, lower birth weight, and higher stillbirth rates.
Chance of survival
The review found that the fate of twins in low- and middle-income countries is even more worrying.
Especially in sub-Saharan Africa, many twins will lose their twin brothers in their first year of life. More than 200,000 each year.
Research author Professor Jeroen Smits said: “Although the twin rates in many wealthy Western countries are close to those in sub-Saharan Africa, the chances of survival are quite different.”
The researchers said that looking forward to the future, India and China will play an important role in the future twinning rate.
Lower fertility, older mothers at birth, and technologies such as IVF will affect the number of twins in the next few years.