February 26, 2024

IVF babies may have slightly higher cancer rates: study

IVF may cause illness later in life

One of the initial concerns about in
vitro fertilisation when it was first devised over 30 years ago was that it
might cause genetic or other health problems. IVF is widely considered safe but
several studies have suggested a slightly higher risk of birth defects and
other types of illness among children born via IVF, particularly cancer.

Previous studies have not been successful
in finding a link between cancer and IVF, but the largest study yet on the
question has found one. A Swedish research team examined data from 26,692
children born via IVF between 1982 and 2005. Instead of the 38 cases expected
among this number based on normal rates of cancer in the general population,
there were 53 cases of cancer.

Previous studies have shown IVF babies’
slightly higher rate of birth defects such as heart problems and cleft palates.
According to research published in ScienceDaily a month ago, IVF babies also show a higher rate of autism. It
remains unclear how IVF might cause birth defects or health problems later in
life. The authors of this new study note that it could have nothing to do with
the actual IVF procedure, but rather with characteristics of women who undergo
IVF or from birth complications. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics. ~ LA Times, Jul 19, ScienceDaily, Jun 30

Jared Yee