The number of twins born last year has hit record high in the United states while the rate for triplets, quadruplets, and higher was the lowest in two decades.
The Center for Disease Control 2014 birth statistics has revealed that nearly 4 million babies were born last year out of which more than 135,000 were twins. That is about 1 in every 29 babies. In 1980, only 1 in every 53 babies was a twin.
‘Births of triplets and higher multiples were on the rise from 1980 to 1998, when the rate peaked at 193.5 multiples for every 1,000 births. But unlike twin births, the rate has been declining between 2013 and 2014, it dropped 5% to 113.5 per 1,000 births in the US.’
About 1 in every 881 babies born last year was a triplet, quadruplet, or part of a higher number set.
While experts claim that the reason for twin birth increase could be the delay in maternal age of childbirth. More women are waiting until they are older to have babies, and mothers in their 30s are more likely to have twins than younger women.
They also state that more couple opt for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) like in vitro fertilization, which generally raise the chances of multiple births.
But the rate of triplet and higher-order births has fallen 40 percent from its 1998 peak. Its because doctors have been implanting fewer embryos during in vitro fertilization than in the past, in recognition that more embryos increase the risk of dangerous complications.
"What might have been a triplet birth in the past is now a twin birth," said one of the authors of the new report, Michelle Osterman of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.