Doctors are trying to find out why there were more than 220 sets of twins born to 2,000 families in an Indian village.
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Experts who have been to the village of Kodinhi in Kerala, India, have been perplexed by a phenomenon that has allowed the town to have a high rate of twins born there. That is six times over the global average. In 2008, there were 15 sets of twins born out of a total of 300 healthy deliveries.
In the past 5 years, 60 sets of twins have been born. With each year, the rate of twins increases. Dr. Krishnan Sribiju has been studying the birth trend in Kodinhi for the past two years.
Officially, 220 sets of twins have been registered in the village, but Dr. Sribiju believes the actual number is much higher.
He says that there are 300 to 350 sets of twins within the village. He is fascinated by the increasing number of twins per year. He says that in the past 10 years, the number of twins in Kodinhi has doubled.
The villagers say the twin phenomenon began three generations ago. Sr. Sribiju is very excited at the possible scientific implications the continuing birth rate of the village will have.
He explains, “To the best of my knowledge, this medical marvel began somewhere between 60 to 70 years ago. Without access to detailed biochemical analysis equipment, I cannot say for certain what the reason for the twinning is, but I feel that it is something to do with what the villagers eat and drink.”
He says that if it is something in their diet, then perhaps it can be used to help infertile couples in other parts of the world. The doctor has ruled out genetic factors as the cause because the phenomenon only occurs within the village. He has also dismissed the suggestion that the unusually high number of twins is due to a certain pollutant in the area because a majority of the twins are born healthy without any deformities.
Dr. Sribiju says, “There are lots of reasons for twins, but let me explain the underlying uniqueness of Kodinhi. The number of twins per thousand here is around 45 per 1,000 births.”