1. Section Editor(s): Risser, Nancy MN, RN,C, ANP
  2. Murphy, Mary CPNP, PhD, Literature Review Editors

Article Content

Multiple Birth Epidemiology


Russell RB, Petrini JR, Damus K, et. al.: The changing epidemiology of multiple births in the united states. Obstet Gynecol 2003; 101(1):129-135.


Using vital data from the National Center for Health Statistics, this retrospective analysis describes changes in the epidemiology of multiple births in the United States between 1980 and 1999.


The multiple birth ratio increased 59% with rates among white women increasing more rapidly than among black women. Women between the ages of 30 and 44 experienced the greatest increases. Multiple births were most prominent in the Northeast[forms light horizontal]New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey[forms light horizontal]where more couples use fertility management or assisted reproductive technology. Within the studied decade, the overall infant mortality rate in the United States declined more than 25% and multiple birth mortality rates declined 30%. However, infant mortality among multiple births continues to be higher than singleton births.


The number of plural births has far exceeded previous estimates of natural births and has a significant impact on health care providers and setting standards for pregnancy and birth. This changing profile will be important as new policies are developed.