(HealthDay News) – Full-term children conceived following ovarian stimulation alone (OSA) are slightly shorter than naturally-conceived children.

Tim Savage, MD, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues examined phenotypic and biochemical parameters for 84 children conceived following OSA and 268 naturally-conceived children of subfertile and fertile parents (54 and 214 children, respectively). The participants, aged 3–10 years, were assessed for anthropometric, body composition, and endocrine and fasting metabolic parameters.

The researchers found no difference in measured outcomes for children of fertile and subfertile parents. Children conceived following OSA were significantly shorter than subfertile and fertile control children, even after adjustment for genetic height potential (P=0.001 and 0.004, respectively). OSA boys were significantly shorter than both subfertile and fertile boys (P=0.03 and 0.01, respectively), while there was a trend toward OSA girls being shorter than subfertile but not fertile girls (P=0.06 and 0.17, respectively). Compared with fertile and subfertile controls, OSA children also had lower corrected body mass index. Fasting glucose was lower in OSA children than in fertile controls, but other endocrine and metabolic parameters were similar between the groups.

“Reassuringly, these children remained well within the normal height range for both their sex and age,” Savage said in a statement. “It is important to continue research in this area in order to provide medical practitioners, parents, and children with valuable information.”

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