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A Comparative Study of Twinning and Triplet Rates in 17 Countries, 1972-1996

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2014

Y. Imaizumi*
National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Tokyo, Japan
Hyogo University, Hiraoka-cho, Kakogawa City, Hyogo Prefecture, 675-0101, Japan; e-mail:


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Secular changes in twinning and triplet rates were analyzed using vital statistics in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, England and Wales, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, and Singapore during the period from 1972 to 1996. Among those 17 countries, the twinning and triplet rates in the Czech Republic and in the Slovak Republic remained constant from 1972 to 1994, whereas these rates increased significantly year by year in the other 15 countries during the examined period in each country. Twinning rates increased from 1.2-fold in Austria to 2-fold in Denmark from 1972 to 1996. As for triplets, the rate increased from 3-fold in Denmark to 9-fold in Norway during that period. With one exception, that being the Slovak Republic, the triplet rate was highest in the Scandinavian countries, followed by the other European and Asian countries. The rising twinning and triplet rates have been attributed to the higher proportion of mothers treated with ovulation-inducing hormones and partially attributed to IVF.

Research Article
Copyright © The International Society for Twin Studies 1998



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