Daily US Times: Researchers say that more twins are being born than ever before but the world may now have reached peak twin.
About 1.6 million twins are born each year around the world, with one in every 42 children born a twin.
Medical techniques such as IVF and delayed childbearing have seen the rate of twin births rise by a third since the 1980s.
But it could be all downhill from here as the focus shifts to one baby per pregnancy, which is less risky.
The peak was reached because of large increases in twinning rates in all regions over 30 years – from a 32% rise in Asia to a 71% rise in North America, according to a global overview in the journal Human Reproduction.
The researchers collected information on twinning rates from 165 countries for 2010 to 2015, and compared them with rates for 1980 to 1985.
The number of twins born per thousand deliveries is now particularly high in North America and Europes – and worldwide it’s gone from nine per 1,000 deliveries to 12.
But twin rates in Africa have always been high and have not changed much over the past 30 years, which could be due to population growth.
Asia and Africa make up about 80% of all twin deliveries in the world at present.
Prof Christiaan Monden, the study’s author from the Oxford University, said there was a reason for that.
He said: “The twinning rate in Africa is so high because of the high number of dizygotic twins – twins born from two separate eggs – born there.”