Twin-singleton differences

Kaare Christensen, Matt McGue

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Twins have a higher occurrence of prematurity, low birth weight, congenital malformations, neonatal morbidity, and perinatal death compared to singletons. However, data spanning back more than a century document that twin-singleton differences generally vanish with age and that, for more recent birth cohorts, the differences are few and generally small after childhood. Even in traits for which there is a mean difference between twins and singletons, it seems plausible in most cases that it is the same factors in twins and singletons that cause variation around their respective mean values. Therefore, twin-singleton differences will rarely be a challenge for using twin research together with other study designs and populations to understand the trait under study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTwin Research for Everyone
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Biology to Health, Epigenetics, and Psychology
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128215142
ISBN (Print)9780128215159
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Behavior
  • Development
  • Differences
  • Genetics
  • Life-course
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Singletons
  • Twins


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