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Children born to subfertile couples, how are they doing? Evidence from research
  1. Nadine Iman Schottler1,
  2. Alastair G Sutcliffe2
  1. 1Population, Policy and Practice Unit, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alastair G Sutcliffe, General and Adolescent Paediatric Unit, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK; a.sutcliffe{at}ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

More than 10 million children have been born with assisted reproductive technology (ART) as we begin to enter the third generation of individuals conceived by ART. Here we summarise key messages from an enlarging body of literature regarding their health. Earlier research had pointed towards increases in perinatal, neonatal and neurological risks, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, congenital malformations and cerebral palsy. Many of these risks have continued to persist in most recent work but have shown reduction. Newer research proposes long-term cardiometabolic and endocrine concerns. Fortunately, most reports conclude there is little or no risk of increased childhood malignancy or abnormal neurodevelopment. Moving forward, new research may benefit from changes in comparator groups and a better understanding of infertility per se in ART, and the confounding role it probably plays in many of the known risk associations, to reliably scan the horizon for health threats for individuals born after ART.

  • Child Health
  • Infant Development
  • Adolescent Health
  • Growth
  • Epidemiology

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Footnotes

  • Contributors NIS designed the review and drafted the initial manuscript. AGS conceptualised the review, critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. Both authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This research was supported by the NIHR BRC. NIS and team are supported by the following relevant grants: Wellcome Trust (2266971), NIH (6715728), NHMRC (1543758), NIHR (183241) and Nuffield Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.