Epidemiological and birth weight characteristics of triplets: a study from the Dutch twin register

J.F. Orlebeke, D.I. Boomsma, A.W. Eriksson

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


From 112 triplet sets, born in The Netherlands from the end of 1986 to the beginning of 1991 and registered in the Dutch Twin Register, several details such as birth weight, gestational age, zygosity, and etiology were assessed by questionnaire, which was filled out by the mother. For 33 triplet sets, zygosity was also assessed by blood typing. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was also noted. Results show a very strong increase in number of triplets caused by artificial fertility enhancing techniques and consequently a shift in the relative contribution of zygosity types to the total number of triplets. Birth weight is predominantly influenced by gestational age. Other effects on birth weight are controlled for possible confounding with gestational age. First born triplets weigh more than later born triplets; boys weigh more than girls; nearly 25% of all individual triplets weigh less than 1500 g, i.e. belong to the category very low birth weight (VLBW); regular maternal smoking produces a 14% birth weight reduction; ovulation induction seems to decrease the sex ratio, i.e. hormonal treatment with ovulation inducing substances increases the probability of female offspring. © 1993.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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