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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina: Study Examines Health Outcomes Among Low Birth Weight Twins with Different Birth Weights

Research led by epidemiology and biostatistics assistant professor Dr. Nansi Boghossian  at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health has examined birth weight discordance among very low birth weight twins. They investigated mortality, morbidity and neurodevelopmental outcomes and published their findings in the Journal of Perinatology.

The study included more than 8,000 twins who weighed between 401 and 1,500 grams at the time of their births between 1994 and 2011. They categorized the twins into categories of  ≤ 14, > 14-20, > 20-30, and > 30 percent in terms of the difference between the sibling’s birth weight for each set of twins. The researchers used separate logistic regression models for the smaller and larger infants to assess the adjusted association between discordance and outcomes.

The authors found that compared to the smaller twin with  ≤ 14 percent discordance, mortality, necrotizing enterocolitis, severe retinopathy of prematurity, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and neurodevelopmental impairment or death were highest among the smaller twins with discordance > 30 percent. They also found that the larger twins with discordance > 30 percent had higher odds of patent ductus arteriosus, moderate-to-severe cerebral palsy, blindness, cognitive and motor scores < 70. Further, the odds of cerebral palsy and blindness were also higher among the larger twins with discordance > 14-20 percent.

Dr. Boghossian and her team concluded that discordance > 30% was associated with higher mortality in the smaller twin and higher morbidities among the smaller and larger twins.

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