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Smoking and genetics can boost mother’s chances to have twins: Study

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Washington : A new study has revealed that African American mothers who smoke and have a specific genetic profile can boost their chances to have twins.

African American mothers who smoke and have a genetic profile that includes a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the TP53 gene have an increased likelihood of having twins, concluded a team of researchers from the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this study the TP53 SNP emerged as the most significant when combining with a mother’s smoking to increase the likelihood of having twins.

Conflicting evidence suggesting that smoking could either enhance or diminish fertility, and the specific knowledge that nicotine can inhibit estrogen synthesis, led the researchers to wonder if there was a link between twinning, smoking and a mother’s genetic profile. Consequently, they found significant interactions with smoking and SNPs from several genes, with the TP53 SNP most clearly implicated.


In conclusion, the researchers noted that because TP53 has implications for cancer, future research should investigate potential relationships between women with the TP53 SNP who bear multiples and their potential for breast cancer risk. The study is published in the American Journal of Human Biology.