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Twins and Triplets More Likely To Die Within One year of Birth

Update Date: Jun 25, 2012 05:19 PM EDT

A 2009 study from the Office of National Statistics reveals that twin and triplet babies are five times more likely to die before their first birthday when compared to single born babies.

According to the statistics, out of 706,248 live births, 3,180 single born babies were reported dead before one year, which counts to an average 4.5 deaths per 1,000 births.

In case of multiple births, there were reportedly 20.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The possible explanation for the high rate of deaths in multiple births could be low birthweight, which is reportedly the reason for highest infant mortality rate. Twins and triplets are very likely to be born with an extremely low birthweight.

This issue is particularly important considering the rise in the number of multiple births due to IVF treatments in last 10 years. One in five births involving IVF treatments result in multiple pregnancies, whereas, the number of multiple pregnancies in case of a natural conception is one in 80.

There were 15.7 multiple births per 1,000 women in 2010, according to ONS, which is a 6.8 per cent rise, when compared to the year 2000.

Multiple pregnancies are also known to cause to many complications during pregnancy and delivery, including miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, cerebral palsy and death, reports Mail Online.

A separate study at Birmingham University also claims that couples with triplets or twins are more prone to split later in life when compared to parents of single-born babies.

It could be the financial hardship caused by multiple births which may lead to strain in marriages, claims the report.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) recommends the implantation of only one embryo due to the risk of multiple births.

The proportion of multiple births was reduced by 20 percent last year by HFEA. This year, the target is set for a reduction by another 15 percent, says the report.

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