HealthDay News — Children conceived with infertility treatment have an elevated risk for asthma and atopic conditions in early and middle childhood, according to a study published online April 21 in Human Reproduction.
Kristen J. Polinski, PhD, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues analyzed singletons and multiples born between 2008 and 2010 (5034 mothers and 6171 children) with follow-up until 2019 (2056 children in the middle childhood follow-up).
The researchers found that children conceived with any infertility treatment had an increased risk for persistent wheeze by age 3 years (relative risk [RR], 1.66; 95% CI, 1.17 to 2.33) when adjusting for parental atopy and other risk factors, compared with children conceived without treatment. Children conceived with treatment were more likely to have current asthma between ages 7 and 9 years (RR, 1.30; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.71), as well as eczema (RR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.25 to 2.49) and prescription of allergy-related medications (RR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.99). When examining associations by infertility treatment type, effect sizes were similar.
“Our findings of similar effect sizes by infertility treatment type suggest either shared biological process of inducing ovulation leading to fetal exposure to supraphysiological hormone levels or underlying parental subfertility may contribute to risk,” the authors write.