Science » Technologies and discoveries

Are twins mutants?

The more polluted the region, the greater the chance of a mother giving birth to twins.

German scientists in the field of professional and ecological medicine have reached such conclusion. Also, according to their research, most often women tend to suffer from their inability to conceive in pollution-free regions.

The scientists have calculated a total number of newborn twins living rather close to toxic wastes plant in Germany. The number of twins born in that polluted area equaled to the number of twins born in two pollution-free districts of the same residential area. In addition, the data has later been compared to the results of 1994-2003. Those mothers who lived in close proximity with the plant had much higher birth rate of twins (it exceeded 50%) in comparison with women from other areas.

The researchers have also calculated total percentage of women who’ve gotten pregnant naturally and those who had to undergo in vitro fertilization IVF. As it turned out, majority of women who conceived by means of the IVF lived in the most pollution-free residential area. While at the same time, twin birth rate of the mothers who used IVF did not exceed the rest of the women.

Analysis of the archived data of birth rate also indicated that those who lived in close proximity with the toxic waste plant or other heavy industry facility a number of twins was twice as much as those born in ecologically clean areas.

As a result, the scientific team has concluded that there exists a direct correlation between environment and the amount of twins born in that area. More so, birth rate of twins could in fact serve as an indicator of the overall environmental condition of a region.

Swedish scientists in turn are determined that a woman is most likely to give birth to twins if she takes folic acid in the course of her pregnancy. After examining women's medical records, the scientists were able to conclude that 2.8 % of those women who have been taking folic acid later gave birth to twins.

It is a known fact that folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects in newborns. At the same time, twins are often born premature; therefore, it is hard to say whether folic acid is really all that great.

Svetlana Lyzhina

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