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Different growth pattern for IVF children

Wednesday February 17th 2021

Children born as a result of fertility treatment may have marginally different growth patterns to others, according to a new study.

Researchers say that height, weight and body mass index are as expected by the age of 17 years.

Dr Maria Magnus of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway, and colleagues carried out the study.

They write in Human Reproduction today (17 February) that both fertility treatment and the reasons for parental subfertility may contribute to the altered growth patterns.

"Children conceived by fertility treatment weigh less and are shorter at the time of delivery," they write.

To investigate further, they analysed information on 81,461 children taking part in an ongoing study and compared them against 544,113 adolescents whose details were taken for military conscription.

At birth, babies conceived by fertility treatment were about 0.4cm shorter and about 110g lighter on average, but they grew faster, becoming slightly taller and heavier by age three.

They remained taller up to age seven, but then became average for height and weight by age 17.

The authors write: "Our findings provide reassurance that offspring conceived by assisted reproductive technology are not different in height, weight or body mass index from naturally conceived once they reach adolescence."

Dr Magnus described the results as reassuring and said: “Further studies are necessary to evaluate what might underlie these differences and longer follow-up is necessary to evaluate whether the accelerated growth observed among assisted reproductive technology children during the first years of life might have an impact on later health.”

Magnus, M. C. et al. Growth in children conceived by ART. Human Reproduction 17 February 2021; doi: 10.1093/humrep/deab007

[abstract]

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Nursing & Midwifery | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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