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Triplet births on the rise in Switzerland: study

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Triplet births on the rise in Switzerland: study
Kristian Sekulic (File)
10:56 CET+01:00

The number of triplets born in Switzerland has risen by 40 percent in the last 20 years, new figures show.

Between 2005 and 2008, the country saw the births of 105 sets of triplets, two sets of quadruplets and one set of quintuplets, scientists from the University Hospital in Zurich wrote in the Swiss Medical Weekly journal.

When compared to data for the periods 1985-1988 and 1995-1998, the figures indicated that triplet births were up by 40 percent, while the number of quadruplet and quintuplet births remained stable.

According to scientists, the increase stems mainly from the use of artificial insemination methods. In their study, nearly 75 percent of the triplet pregnancies, and all quadruplet and quintuplet pregnancies, had resulted from artificial conception methods.

Multiple pregnancies are troublesome and often involve health complications both for the mother and the children. Authors of the study said all infants included in the research had been born prematurely: on average, triplets were born in the 33rd week of pregnancy.  

Despite the increase, multiple births still represent only a small proportion of the 75,000 babies that are born in Switzerland every year, according to figures from the Federal Statistical Office.

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