The correlation in birth timing between singleton and twin gestations in the same mother

Emily A. Defranco, Jen Jen Chang, George A. MacOnes, Louis J. Muglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective. To test the hypothesis that the timing of twin births is correlated to that of their singleton siblings. Methods. Using the Missouri Department of Health's birth certificate database we performed a retrospective population-based cohort study of 2222 women who had at least one singleton and one twin birth (1989-1997). Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to examine the relationship in gestational age between singleton and twin births occuring in the same mother. Results. Among 2222 mothers who had both a singleton and twin pregnancy during the study period, the mean difference in birth timing between singleton and twin siblings was 3.05 weeks (±2.9 weeks). The correlation between singleton and twin birth timing was statistically significant (r = 0.28, p < 0.001), and remained significant even after controlling for potential confounders (β = 0.459, p < 0.001). Conclusions. We identified a significant correlation in the timing of birth between singleton and twin pregnancies in the same mother, which could be due to shared genetic, environmental, medical, social and other influences. This finding could be useful to help predict birth timing in mothers at especially high risk of preterm birth, those with a twin gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-110
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Birth timing
  • Pre-maturity
  • Preterm birth
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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