IVF Kids May Have Higher Cancer Risk

Link Children conceived using in vitro fertilization (IVF) appear to have a moderately elevated risk of cancer -- although the absolute risk remains low ...

Among the 26,692 children studied who were conceived by IVF between 1982 and 2005, after adjusting for year of birth, the estimated odds ratio for cancer risk was 1.42 (95% CI 1.09 to 1.87, P=0.01) compared with children who were not conceived via IVF ...

... however, IVF itself may not be responsible ...

The reason for the increased risk could be a higher rate of preterm birth and neonatal asphyxia among these children or because of unidentified characteristics of the women who undergo the procedure ...

... While mothers who used IVF to conceive had a variety of characteristics that differed from other women, including older age and increased rates of multiple pregnancies, none of these were significantly linked with the elevated cancer risk seen in their children.

... several characteristics of the children did appear to play a role.

After adjustment for year of birth, significantly increased risk for cancer in the entire population was associated with preterm birth before week 37 (odds ratio 1.16), for birth weight of 4,500 g (9.9 lbs) or more (OR 1.21), for large-for-gestational-age birth (OR 1.34), and for low Apgar score (OR 1.33).

The only one of the factors more common among IVF children than among others in the general population was a low Apgar score ...