birth defects linked to twins and triplets have almost doubled since the 1980s.
BIRTH defects linked to twins and triplets have almost doubled since the 1980s.
The trend may partly be explained by the growth of IVF treatment, which can lead to multiple births.
Scientists studied data on 5.4 million births in Europe from 1984 to 2007, of which 3 per cent involved multiple deliveries. During this period, the prevalence of congenital abnormalities arising from multiple births was measured as an increase from 5.9 per 10,000 births to 10.7. On average, the risk of birth defects was 27 per cent higher for multiple than for singleton births.