Jul 20, 2014, 4:33 PM
News Code: 2721844
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Iran's twin birth rate more than world average

Tehran, July 20, IRNA -- The number of twin and multiple births in Iran is higher than the annual world average, announced the secretary of Pars Twins and Multiples Association.

Ehsan Khasteh Tarash told Monday edition of the English language newspaper Iran Daily that multiple births account for around one or two percent of births worldwide annually, while this figure is three percent for Iran.

Previously, multiple births resulted from genetic factors in the country in which families experiencing more multiple births were more likely to have such births in subsequent generations, he added.

Now, the causes of birth to multiples among Iranian families are different from what it was before, the expert said.

"The leading cause of such births is the use of infertility drugs by Iranian women. These medicines increase the risk of multiple births."

The number of Iranian women undergoing infertility treatment and using infertility drugs is on the rise, he said. Based on data, it is likely that such women would experience at least one multiple birth during their pregnancies.

There are currently around 420,000 to 450,000 twins and multiples in Tehran, Khasteh Tarash added. "On average, some 16 twins and multiples are born daily in Tehran."

Pointing to the high figure of such births in Tehran, he cited Mahdiyeh Hospital in which about 400 multiple births took place between April 22, 2013 and March 6, 2014.

Pars Twins and Multiples Association, which was established five years ago, seeks to provide cultural, recreational, educational and treatment services and facilities for multiples and their families, he said.

The association holds a scientific and research conference attended by experts and university faculty members every month to deal with issues pertaining to multiples, he added.

Membership of the association exceeds 10,000 deriving from over 50,000 couples with twins and multiples, the secretary of Pars Twins and Multiples Association noted.

All twins and multiples nationwide can register with the association without any age limit and benefit from its cultural, artistic, sports and music (pop and traditional) groups, he said.

The association provides welfare services to members by negotiating and signing agreements with various centers to deliver services to twins and multiples at discount rates, Khasteh Tarash.

Given the redoubled economic pressure on multiples' families, the association's contracts with welfare centers to provide services and facilities to families at lower costs are important in reducing economic difficulties.

**1420