pp 78-88 (Vol 12 2019)

K.M. Akinseye 1,a,
A.T. Anifowoshe
O.A. Owolodun
O.M. Aina
2, and
O.A. Iyiola

1 Department of Biology, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Ondo State, Nigeria
2 Cell Biology and Genetics Unit, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
*Corresponding author: anifowoshe.at@unilorin.edu.ng
aShared first author and contributed equally to the work


Increased twinning rate in developing countries, especially Nigeria, which has the highest twinning rate, exposes mothers and infants to extremely high risks. Multiple births can contribute significantly to maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, women with multiple gestations are at increased risk of preeclampsia, preterm labor, delivery of low–birth weight infants, antepartum or postpartum hemorrhage, cesarean section, ongenital anomalies, intrauterine growth retardation, and maternal and perinatal death as compared to women with singleton gestations. This review was undertaken with the objective of providing data on the frequency of twinning across Nigeria, which is implementing measures for safe delivery and monitoring susceptibility to disease. Literature search for incidence of twinning in Nigeria between 2008 and 2014 was carried out and twin birth per 1,000 deliveries was calculated from the frequency recorded across various states in Nigeria. We reported the frequency of twinning across Nigeria to be 6,070 out of 189,178 total births and twin birth per 1,000 deliveries to be 32.1. The maternal age range of 25–34 years showed the highest rate of twinning in this study. Our result also revealed that Nigeria had the highest rate of twinning when compared to studies from other countries except Benin Republic. This might be as a result of massive migration of Nigerians most especially the Yorubas to Benin. This study provides information on incidence/frequency of twinning across Nigeria. It also reveals how the Nigerian populations in the north, south, west, and east vary with respect to twin birth. This vital information will be germane for population genetics and anthropological studies and may be helpful in planning future health strategy, particularly in management of diseases associated with women with multiple gestations.