Twinning rates in Japan, 1951-1990.
Twinning rates in all of Japan for 1951-1968 and 1974-1990 were analyzed using data from vital statistics of Japan. The twinning rate per 1,000 births was 6.43 in 1951 and remained nearly constant until 1968, then decreased to 5.79 in 1974 and gradually increased to 7.00 in 1990. The MZ twinning rate increased slightly up to 1966, but decreased thereafter, whereas the DZ rate declined over the entire period. As for maternal age, the DZ rate increased up to the age group 35-39 and decreased thereafter. The same tendency is seen in the MZ rate, but the maternal age effect is less marked than in DZ twins. The same tendency is also seen in the overall rate for 1975-1985. As for geographical variations, the MZ and DZ rates were computed in each prefecture for 1955-1959 and in 1974. The DZ rate increased from a low level in the southwest Japan to a high level in the northeast for both periods, whereas the MZ rate was rather constant in 1974 throughout Japan. As for seasonal variation, the highest rates per 1,000 births for MZ(4.56) and DZ(2.20) twins were seen in April, with the lowest rate in September (3.69) for MZ twins and in July (1.71) for DZ twins.
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