IVF kids tend to be taller
New York - Children born as a
result of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) appear to be slightly
taller than naturally conceived children, investigators in New
IVF has been used for nearly three decades, but most of the
focus of research has been on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes
rather than on school-age IVF children.
That's probably because as babies they have few apparent
problems, Dr Wayne S Cutfield told Reuters Health.
"They are thriving, healthy children as newborns," he
To check up on older IVF kids, Cutfield, at the University
of Auckland, and colleagues recruited healthy children aged four
to 10 years who were born at full term.
Their study included 69 children conceived by IVF using
fresh embryos and 71 matched "controls" who were conceived in
the normal way.
After factoring in parents' heights, the IVF children were
significantly taller than their peers, by about three centimetres
or just over an inch, the investigators report in the Journal
of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The research also suggests that hormonal profiles and lipid
metabolism are slightly altered in IVF children. "Whilst we
have identified differences, these are rather subtle and not
obvious," Cutfield said.
Based on current evidence, he assumes that the differences
they identified so far are not likely to impair the children as
they grow older.
In their current work, the research team is also
investigating the effect of "other artificial manipulations
beyond the fresh embryos we have studied", Cutfield said, "such
as use of frozen embryos".