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Twin Birth Rates Up Due to Increase in Fertility Treatments

Michel Tcherevkoff/Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) -- Seeing double when it comes to youngsters?  Your eyes aren’t playing on tricks on you.

A Michigan State University study confirms what you’ve being seeing: there are more twins being born now than ever before, largely because of women undergoing fertility treatments.

The rate of twins in 2009 was one in every 30 births.  That’s a sharp increase from thirty years earlier when it was one in every 53 babies born, which accounted then for two percent of all births.

Presenting her findings this week in Florence, Italy, at the 14th Congress of the International Society of Twin Studies, MSU researcher Barbara Luke says this dramatic rise in American twin births is increasing for all women, but mostly in those ages 30 and older.

Luke told the conference, “Older maternal age accounts for about one-third of the rise, and two-thirds is due to the increased use of fertility treatments."

The incidence of triplets is also on the increase, according to Luke.  It was one in 2,702 babies born in 1980, but the number of triplets has skyrocketed to one in 651 babies in 2009.

Currently, 12 percent of women in the U.S. undergo fertility therapies, but Luke warned that greater health risks result from multiple births.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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