Thu 5 Jan 2012
We all suspected we were seeing more twins, and now a new report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) confirms it. The CDC says that the rate of twin births in the United States continues to rise. Twin rates had been stable at about 2% of births from about 1915 through the 1970′s. But beginning in the early 80′s, the rate began to rise.
- The number of twin births more than doubled from 1980 through 2009, rising from 68,339 to more than 137,000 births in each year from 2006 to 2009. In 1980, 1 in every 53 babies born in the United States was a twin, compared with 1 in every 30 births in 2009.
Twinning rates rose by more than 200 percent among women aged 40 and over.
- Twin birth rates increased for women of all ages over the three decades, with the largest increases among women aged 30 and over. From 1980 to 2009, rates increased 76 percent for women aged 30–34, nearly 100 percent for women aged 35–39, and more than 200 percent for women aged 40 and over.
- In 2009, 7 percent of all births to women aged 40 and over were born in a twin delivery compared with 5 percent of births to women aged 35–39, and 2 percent of births to women under age 25.
Health Implications of Twins
While twin parents everywhere rejoice in their happy but difficult circumstances, the increased rate of twin births does have implications for the health of the mother and the babies. The rise in the rate of twins, which comprise the majority of multiples (96 percent in 2009), has had an unfavorable impact on key indicators of perinatal health such as rates of preterm birth and low birthweight.