Today there are more twins than ever in the world. According to a study by Oxford University scientists, analysis is based on data from 165 countries, which comprise 99 percent of the world’s population. Researchers noted that the birth of twins has increased significantly since the 1980s. Currently, one of the forty-two births are called twins.
Worldwide, approximately 1.6 million children are now born as part of twins. Researchers argue that the birth rate of twins has increased by an average of one third in the last 40 years. However, at this time, it is noted that twins may be born at a peak.
“The trends are really striking,” emphasized Christiaan Monden, professor of sociology and demography at the University of Oxford. “There has been a significant increase in twins in the last 40 to 50 years. This trend was mainly concentrated in the rich and developed countries. But it has achieved a place around the world. “
Most twins are now born as a result of various fertility treatments. While birth rates for identical twins have changed substantially over time, researchers found that naturally conceived, non-identical twins and twins born after fertility treatment showed a global increase.
“This is mainly due to better access to medical aid,” the researchers say. “However, there is also an effect because many couples choose to postpone paternity until later age. Natural, non-identical twins are likely to peak when the mother is thirty-five to twenty-nine years old.”
Twelve out of a thousand births now have twins worldwide. Forty years ago, there were still nine twins in a thousand births. This represents a 33 percent increase. “However, the numbers show a remarkable shift between countries,” the researchers say.
The largest increase was recorded in North America (71 percent), followed by Europe (60 percent) and Asia (32 percent). However, there was an increase almost everywhere. The only exception was South America.
However, in Western Europe, especially Scandinavia and the UK, fewer twins are being born again at the turn of the century, said Raj Mathur, president of the British Fertility Society. “There is a feeling that fertility treatments increase the likelihood of multiple twins. That’s why the procedures have been adjusted in recent decades.”
Raj Mathur, president of the British Fertility Society, said, “However, in parts of Africa and South America, fertility is readily available to a very large population.” “The big challenge now is to offer support services in countries that increase the chances of the birth of twins”
“Most babies born as part of twins are in full health. However, there is no doubt that the pregnancy of twins poses a greater risk to both mothers and infants. Therefore efforts should be made to limit those risks. ”(Wdm)