Mothers of Twins: Born Tough?

Filed under: In The News, Twins, Triplets, Multiples

mothers of twins

In this study, mothers of twins lived longer. Credit: Corbis

Mothers of twins live longer.

Really? Or does it just feel that way because the chores ... never ... freakin' ... end?

No, they really do live longer, but it's not because having twins makes you tough. These moms are born tough, LiveScience reports.

At least they were in Utah in the 1800s. So you have to take this new search with a grain (or lake) of salt.

Researchers from the University of Utah used the university's massive Utah Population Database to study the genealogical records of state residents going back 200 years. And what do you know? Mothers of twins lived longer.

"We expected the exact opposite," researcher Shannen Robson tells LiveScience. "We expected that since most humans have one baby at a time, having two would be really burdensome."

Not so. Not for Wonder Woman. Not for "these who are remarkable, physically exceptional people," Robson says.

Bear in mind these women were hearty pioneers who got pregnant the old-fashioned way -- from an arranged marriage to a randy old coot named "Zeke" when they were 14 or 15 years old. Researchers didn't take into account the results of modern in-vitro fertilization.

The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B., show you didn't want to mess with mothers of twins in Utah in the 19th century. They lived longer, needed less time to recover between pregnancies, had more children overall and were something like 80 years old before they hit menopause.

OK, that last one may be a bit of an exaggeration. But they still had hot flashes later than those namby-pambies who had their eight children one at a time.

Why does all this interest scientists? They could be looking at ways to create a race of Super Mothers.

"By identifying them, we can then look at other aspects of what it is about them that makes them more healthy, live longer and have babies at a faster rate than everyone else in the population," Robson tells LiveScience.

Uh-oh.

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