Doctors baffled by Indian village of over 200 sets of twins

Thu Aug 6, 2009 9:00am EDT
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By Arko Datta

KODINJI, India (Reuters Life!) - Walk around Kodinji village in rural India and you'd be forgiven for thinking you have double vision as this community is known as "twin village."

The remote village is home to more than 204 sets of twins but doctors are baffled over why this community of 2,000 families has had so many multiple births as they have no unique diet, are not exposed to any chemicals, and don't take fertility drugs.

In fact with about 45 twins per 1,000 live births, this village in North Kerala has six times more twins than the global average -- and women from Kodinju married off to far away places are also known to give birth to twins.

The latest official estimates by the Kodinji's Twins and Kins Association (TAKA), which conducted door-to-door surveys at the start of the year, found that there were 204 sets of twins.

But that number has risen since the survey was conducted and is set to rise further this year with five more women in the village currently pregnant with twins.

"It's an amazing phenomenon to see a medical marvel occurring in such a localized place where the people are not exposed to any kinds of harmful drugs or harmful chemicals," said local doctor Dr. Krishnan Sribiju who is studying the twin phenomenon.

Sribiju, a doctor at the Tirurangadi Taluk hospital just outside the village, said the number of twins being born every year was actually on the rise.

Last year 15 pairs of twins were born in the village out of 300 healthy deliveries and the number this year is expected to top that.   Continued...

<p>Seven-year-old Fathima Lubna (L) and her twin sister Fathima Lubaba (R) carry their five-month-old sisters, who are also twins, at their residence in Kodinji village in the southern Indian city of Kerala July 28, 2009. REUTERS/Arko Datta</p>