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Heart defect risk linked to IVF

Friday November 24th, 2017

Babies born through IVF face a slightly increased risk of suffering congenital heart defects, according to an Italian study.

A review of research found a 45% increased risk for IVF children – equivalent to 1.3% developing congenital heart disease.

Although the risk remains small, the researchers say it justifies increased screening of pregnancies from IVF and ICSI techniques.

Reporting in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, say they analysed eight studies that included more than 300,000 children.

Some 2,289 suffered from congenital heart defects. The studies included some 25,856 children conceived through IVF and 287,995 conceived naturally.

Researcher Dr Paolo Cavoretto, of the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy, said: "We believe that IVF/ICSI pregnancies present an increased risk of congenital heart defects as a consequence of early placental dysfunction; however this hypothesis should be demonstrated in future studies.

“We recommend foetal echocardiography in all pregnancies from IVF/ICSI.”

Congenital heart defects in IVF/ICSI pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 November 2017
[abstract]

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Heart Health

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