IVF Doubles Birth-Defect Risk
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14 June 2010
Study Finds Higher Rate Of Heart Diseases, Urogenital Problems
The study, teh largest of its kind, was carried out in francea and found thet 4% of all babies born after assisted conceptions had serious malformations, double the rate for all children
Babies conceived through fertility treatments are at sharply increased risk of serious congenital malformations, according to a study.
Research into the health of 15,162 babies born after assisted conceptions found that 4.24% had serious malformations, roughly double the rate for all children. The study, carried out in France, is the largest of its kind.
Dr Geraldine Viot, a clinical geneticist at the Maternite Port–Royal hospital, Paris, who oversaw the research, says in the abstract: “A major congenital malformation was found in 4.24% of children. This higher rate was partly due to an excess of heart diseases and malformations in the urogenital system.”
Viot also found a greater rate of minor malformations, with 365 children suffering from angiomas (a benign skin tumour), five times higher than the overall rate. There was an increase in rare genetic disorders, which affected 110 of the 15,162 children. Six had Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome, when only one would normally be expected in such a sample size.
A study published in 2009 found that the number of babies born worldwide through ART rose to 246,000 annually in 2002 from 219,000 in 2000.
Viot’s team conducted a survey of 33 French fertility clinics and studied data from all ART births from these clinics from 2003 to 2007 – giving a total of 15,162 children. Questionnaires were completed both by the parents and the paediatrician, and the prevalence of birth abnormalities was compared with data from national registers.
The average age of the parents of babies with abnormalities was not statistically different from the other parents who had had fertility treatment. Viot said the higher rate was in part due to more heart problems in ART babies, and also due to more abnormalities of the urinary and reproductive systems, particularly in boys.
Viot said that in France, some 200,000 kids have been born after ART, which means a birth abnormality rate of this size should be seen as “a public health issue”.