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The biological, social and reproductive characteristics of women who have had twins were compared with those of other parous women using questionnaire data gathered for a prospective cohort study of women aged 35 and over on the island of Guernsey. Data for 97 mothers of twins and 4026 other parous women were available for analysis. The two groups were similar in height, first degree family history of breast cancer, use of hormone replacement therapy or other hormones, age at menarche, length of menstrual cycle and age at first and last birth. The mothers of twins were slightly heavier, more likely to smoke and consume more caffeine, less likely to have used oral contraceptives in the past, slightly younger when reaching the menopause and had a larger number of pregnancies. Adjustment for age did not alter these results. This study does not provide evidence that mothers of twins differ markedly from other parous women across a range of characteristics that might be associated with twinning or associated with breast cancer risk.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Hum Biol

Publication Date





77 - 85


Adult, Breast Neoplasms, Cohort Studies, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Mothers, Pregnancy, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Social Behavior, Twin Studies as Topic, Twins