Reassuring Findings for Growth Differences Among ART Kids

For children conceived with assisted reproductive technologies (Art), early life body weight differences failed to look to linger prolonged into adolescence, researchers claimed.

In contrast with these who were by natural means conceived, small children conceived through Artwork tended to be shorter and weigh much less in early childhood, Ahmed Elhakeem, PhD, of the University of Bristol in England, and colleagues reported.

Nonetheless, as revealed in their review in JAMA Network Open, these pounds distinctions for little ones conceived with Art were obvious only in infancy and then bit by bit dissipated all over childhood. Additional particularly, adjusted imply excess weight variances were no lengthier significant by age 14:

  • <3 months: -0.27 standard deviation units (95% CI -0.39 to -0.16)
  • 17 to 23 months: -0.16 SD units (95% CI -0.22 to -0.09)
  • 6 to 9 years: -0.07 SD units (95% CI -0.10 to -0.04)
  • 14 to 17 years: -0.02 SD units (95% CI -0.15 to 0.12)

“Results appeared independent of multiple births and were at least partly mediated by birth weight and gestational age, particularly at younger ages,” the researchers pointed out.

They added that the findings should be “reassuring since differences in early growth were small, although there is a need for additional follow-up and studies with larger numbers into older ages to investigate the possibility of greater adiposity in adulthood.”

Not all children conceived via ART tended to be smaller babies, however. Elhakeem’s group found that this smaller size was seen only among those conceived by fresh — not frozen — embryo transfer versus natural conception. The difference in weight at ages 4 to 5 years was -0.14 (95% CI -0.20 to -0.07) SD units for fresh embryo transfer vs natural conception and 0.00 (95% CI -0.15 to 0.15) SD units for frozen embryo transfer versus natural conception.

This didn’t come as much of a surprise, as Elhakeem’s group said this finding aligned with prior research on the topic that’s linked smaller birth weight in offspring conceived via fresh embryo transfer versus natural conception, plus higher birth weight and large-for-gestational-age in offspring conceived via frozen-thawed embryo transfer compared with those conceived via fresh embryo transfer.

These early-life size differences also extended beyond just weight for children conceived via fresh embryo ART, the investigators reported. These children also tended to see smaller for waist circumference, total body fat percentage, and fat mass index. Though as with body weight, these differences tapered off by adolescence.

“There was little evidence that differences were driven by parental subfertility, given similar results when we compared offspring conceived via ART with those who were [naturally conceived] with parents who conceived after 12 months of trying and for whom conception occurred within a shorter period from the start of trying,” Elhakeem’s group noted.

A total of 26 study cohorts were included in the meta-analysis, which included data on 158,066 offspring — 4,329 of whom were conceived by ART. Cohorts stemmed from Europe, Asia-Pacific, and North America and mostly included kids born after 2002.

  • author['full_name']

    Kristen Monaco is a personnel author, concentrating on endocrinology, psychiatry, and nephrology news. Based out of the New York Town office, she’s labored at the organization due to the fact 2015.


The examine was funded by the European Investigate Council under the European Union Horizon 2020 analysis and innovation software, the Health-related Research Council, British Heart Foundation, and Bristol Nationwide Institute of Overall health Research Biomedical Analysis Centre.

Elhakeem reported no disclosures other co-authors described various disclosures, like some relationships with professional entities.