Abstract

Tomassini C, Grundy E, Skytthe A, Christensen K. Twins and their health cost: consequences of multiple births on parental health and mortality in Denmark and England and Wales. Twin Research and Human Genetics 2006; 9 (3): 444-449.

The rapid increase in twinning rates in developed countries has increased interest in the question as to whether twin mothers have higher mortality and more health problems than mothers of singletons. Here we use a national survey, the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study of England & Wales, and a linkage between the Danish Twin Registry and the Danish population register to examine mortality patterns after age 45 (50 for fathers) for twin parents and the whole population born from 1911 to 1950. For England and Wales, presence of limiting long-term illnesses and self-rated health status was also investigated. Overall similar health and mortality was found for twin parents and the whole population although both life table methods and survival analysis suggested a slight excess mortality among older cohorts of twin mothers in England and Wales.