Aim: We examined the impact of advanced maternal age (>40 years old) on the survival of twin small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants, that is, infants who were smaller in size than was expected for the baby's sex, genetic heritage, and gestational age. Methods: The present study was a retrospective cohort study on twin live births in the USA from 1995 to 1998 inclusive. Two categories of SGA babies were defined: discordant (when only one of a twin pair was SGA) and concordant (when both were SGA). Otherwise, the twin pair was appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) concordant. Results: 192 195 twin pairs were analyzed. The incidence of SGA discordance and concordance was 11.8% and 3.9%, respectively. The occurrence of both SGA subtypes tended to decrease with increasing maternal age. The unadjusted risk for neonatal mortality increased when both twins were affected (15.8: 22.8 and 56.6 per 1000 among AGA concordant, SGA discordant and SGA concordant twins; P-value for trend < 0.0001). Using maternal-age-specific AGA babies as reference, the adjusted risk for neonatal mortality climbed progressively with advancing maternal age in a dose-dependent pattern, being lowest among teenagers and highest in mothers aged ≥40 years. Conclusions: SGA discordance and concordance declined with advancing maternal age. In contrast, neonatal mortality of both SGA subtypes worsened with the increase in maternal age compared with that of the age-specific AGA infants. These findings are potentially useful to care providers in counseling older women, a group that is progressively increasing in size and is most susceptible to twining. © 2007 The Authors.