Risk of congenital malformations in children born after assisted reproduction is higher than previously thought

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 15 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3191
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Children born as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART) have a higher risk of major congenital malformation than previously thought, show results from a study presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 14 June.

    The survey of all births between 2003 and 2007 at 33 centres in France registered to provide ART followed up 15 162 children, making it one of the largest studies yet to investigate the effects of fertility treatment.

    Questionnaires completed by parents and paediatricians caring for the children showed a prevalence of major congenital malformation of 4.2%, higher than the 2-3% found in previous studies. The results showed that the higher prevalence was due to a higher than expected rate of heart disease and cardiac malformations and malformations of the urogenital system. These were much more common in boys than in girls.

    Among the minor …

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