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Semin Perinatol. 2012 Jun;36(3):201-12. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2012.02.005.

Neurodevelopmental outcomes of twins.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.


In population-based studies, the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disability is consistently higher in twins than singletons. This is largely because birth weight and gestational age (GA) distributions of twin births are shifted to the left when compared with singleton births, and lower birth weight and lower GA are associated with increased risk of neurodevelopmental disability. From a pathophysiologic perspective, a question of interest is whether neurodevelopmental outcomes of twins differ from singletons after controlling for covariates. If significant differences in outcomes persist, this would suggest that the twining process itself or something intrinsic to shared life in the womb may be responsible for observed differences. From a clinical perspective, when counseling parents at risk for preterm delivery of twins, it is useful to understand how twin outcomes compare relative to singleton outcomes at the same birth weight or GA. The purpose of this review is to examine the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of twins compared with singletons with control for important covariates.

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