Health of adults aged 22 to 35 years conceived by assisted reproductive technology

By Halliday J, Lewis S, Kennedy J, Burgner DP, Juonala M, Hammarberg K, Amor DJ, Doyle LW, Saffery R, Ranganathan S, Welsh L, Cheung M, McBain J, Hearps SJC, McLachlan R.


OBJECTIVE: To determine the health outcomes for adults aged 22-35 years old who were conceived via assisted reproduction technology (ART) compared with adults of the same age conceived without use of ART. DESIGN: Cohort study. SETTING: Not applicable. PATIENT(S): Adult men and women aged 22-35 years who were conceived with and without use of ART. INTERVENTION(S): Questionnaire and clinical review. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Vascular structure (carotid artery intima-media thickness, pulse wave velocity), vascular function (blood pressure), metabolic markers (fasting blood glucose, insulin, and standard lipid profiles), anthropometric measurements, and respiratory function (spirometry). RESULT(S): The mean age of the 193 ART and 86 non-ART participants was 27.0 and 26.9 years, respectively. There were no substantial intragroup differences in demographics or vascular intermediate phenotypes, metabolic parameters, or anthropometric measures, before or after adjusting for perinatal factors and a quality of life measure with four domains. Diastolic blood pressure was lower in the ART men than the non-ART men (adjusted mean difference -4.4 mm Hg, 95% CI, -8.7 to -0.1). The ART group reported a higher prevalence of ever having asthma, (40.8% vs. 28.6%; odds ratio 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0-3.0), but expiratory flow rates were similar. CONCLUSION(S): This study of the health of 193 adults conceived via ART, the largest to date globally, found no evidence of increased vascular or cardiometabolic risk, or growth or respiratory problems in the ART group compared with a non-ART group from the same source population. Follow-up observation for reproductive and later-onset adverse health effects remains important.