Hypertensive disorders in twin versus singleton gestations. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Network of Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Apr;182(4):938-42. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(00)70350-4.


Objective: This study was undertaken to compare rates and severity of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, as well as perinatal outcomes when these complications develop, between women with twin gestations and those with singleton gestations.

Study design: This was a secondary analysis of prospective data from women with twin (n = 684) and singleton (n = 2946) gestations enrolled in two separate multicenter trials of low-dose aspirin for prevention of preeclampsia. End points were rates of gestational hypertension, rates of preeclampsia, and perinatal outcomes among women with hypertensive disorders.

Results: Women with twin gestations had higher rates of gestational hypertension (relative risk, 2.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.60-2.59) and preeclampsia (relative risk, 2. 62; 95% confidence interval, 2.03-3.38). In addition, women with gestational hypertension during twin gestations had higher rates of preterm delivery at both <37 weeks' gestation (51.1% vs 5.9%; P <. 0001) and <35 weeks' gestation (18.2% vs 1.6%; P <.0001) and also had higher rates of small-for-gestational-age infants (14.8% vs 7. 0%; P =.04). Moreover, when outcomes associated with preeclampsia were compared, women with twin gestations had significantly higher rates of preterm delivery at <37 weeks' gestation (66.7% vs 19.6%; P <.0001), preterm delivery at <35 weeks' gestation (34.5% vs 6.3%; P <.0001), and abruptio placentae (4.7% vs 0.7%; P =.07). In contrast, among women with twin pregnancies, those who remained normotensive had more adverse neonatal outcomes than did those in whom hypertensive complications developed.

Conclusions: Rates for both gestational hypertension and preeclampsia are significantly higher among women with twin gestations than among those with singleton gestations. Moreover, women with twin pregnancies and hypertensive complications have higher rates of adverse neonatal outcomes than do those with singleton pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abruptio Placentae / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HELLP Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Incidence
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular*
  • Pregnancy, Multiple*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Twins
  • United States