There is ample evidence that children born through assisted reproduction experience more medical problems than children conceived naturally (see HERE). We have also published a variety of information in relation to this that supports the reality. Now, new data has also been published in The Lancet. read HERE entire article, which given the importance of the journal and robustness of the data, merit a comment.

65,723 children born in Finland followed up from 0 to 14 years

The study included data on 65,723 children born in Finland between 1995 and 2000, followed up from 0 to 14 years. The most unusual aspect of the study is that, in addition to comparing data from children conceived both by assisted reproduction techniques (ART) and naturally, they compared data from siblings conceived by both methods. Four percent of the children (2776) were conceived by ART. The sibling group included 1245 children from 578 families.

The children born by ART had more problems than children conceived naturally, since

  • 13% of children born after ART had low birth weight, compared to 3% of those conceived naturally;
  • in relation to preterm births, the percentages were 15% and 5%, respectively.
  • ART-conceived children were more likely to be multiple births, 21% vs. 2%, respectively.
  • A total of 744 children who were conceived through ART were born before their naturally-conceived siblings. However, these differences were less significant between the group of siblings conceived both ways, as the difference in the birth weight was 31 g and the risk of preterm birth only 1.56 times higher.

The authors concluded that children born after ART had a higher risk of having low birth weight and being born preterm. In addition to the foregoing, however, the authors concluded that the most serious adverse effects in children born after ART, compared with those conceived naturally, may be attributable to other factors not related with the ART procedure itself.

However, as discussed in an Editorial published in the same issue of The Lancet as the article (), “because of the complexities in human biology and variability in treatments, the study by Goisin and colleagues [to which we are referring] is unlikely to be the last word”, since despite the large sample size of the study, it “might not have adequate statistical power to discover treatment effects that are specific to either ethnic or racial subgroups or specific treatments”.