Twin birth rate hits record high in U.S. in 2014

Twin birth rate hits record high in U.S. in 2014

The twin birth rate in the United States hit an all-time high last year, though it grew only marginally from the previous year, according to the annual Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Vital Statistics Report.

The recently published report states that the twin birth rate in the nation jumped to 33.9 twins per 1,000 births in 2014. Though it’s a record high, it’s up merely 0.2 from 33.7 twins per 1,000 births in 2013.

Still, the trend over the past few decades is really dramatic. The twin birth rate jumped a whopping 76 per cent from 1980 to 2009.

Many experts believe that improved fertility therapies, such as ovulation-inducing drugs and in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are playing a key role in the trend. The chances of conceiving twins jump with IVF because doctors often implant more than one embryo in the process.

A separate study revealed that twins conceived through IVF are more likely to face certain risks than single babies. The report stated, “Infants born in twin and triplet deliveries are at a higher risk of adverse birth outcomes compared with singletons. In 2014, similar to earlier years, more than one of every two twins and more than nine of every ten triplets were born preterm or low birth weight.”

Rate of triple births or triplets, however, slipped to 113.5 per 100,000 births last year. The figures represent a decline of 5 per cent from 2013. Analysts also noted that it was the lowest triplet rate recorded since 1998. Experts attributed the decline in triplet and other multiple birth rates to changes in how Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) is performed now.