Researchers at UAlbany, NIH, NYSDOH Find No Risk by Age 3 from In Vitro Fertilization

Upstate KIDS initiative provides key data for study published in JAMA Pediatrics

A recent study co-led by researchers at UAlbany may help to allay longstanding concerns that conception after infertility treatment could affect the embryo at a sensitive stage and result in lifelong disability.

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 7, 2016) -- In a recently published article using data collected through the Upstate KIDS study researchers observed that children conceived via infertility treatments are no more likely to have a developmental delay than children conceived without such treatments.

The study, led by researchers at the University at Albany, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and published online in JAMA Pediatrics, may help to allay longstanding concerns that conception after infertility treatment could affect the embryo at a sensitive stage and result in lifelong disability.

The unique partnership between the University at Albany’s School of Public Health and NYSDOH created an opportunity for this large collaboration with NIH to study developmental delays in children. The Upstate New York Infant Development Screening Program (Upstate KIDS), enrolled about 5,000 families who gave birth in New York State between 2008 and 2010. The study, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, analyzed birth records and questionnaire results to identify factors that increase the risk for developmental delays and other problems. Also taking part in the study were researchers from CapitalCare Pediatrics in Troy, New York.

Upstate Kids research team
The Upstate KIDS study team includes researchers from NICHD, UAlbany and the New York State Department of Health.

The authors found no differences in developmental assessment scores of more than 1,800 children born to women who became pregnant after receiving infertility treatment and those of more than 4,000 children born to women who did not undergo such treatment.

"When we began this study, there was little research on the potential effects of conception via fertility treatments on U.S. children," said Edwina Yeung, Ph.D., an investigator at NICHD. "Through the collaborative efforts with the NYSDOH and University of Albany, we were able to examine this important question."

"We wish to thank the Upstate KIDS families for their continued dedication to this study; given their participation, we were able to show results that are reassuring for families with children conceived with these treatments," said Erin Bell, PhD an Associate Professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health.

Among the key findings:

  • Use of any infertility treatment was not associated with risk for failing any developmental domain as assessed by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire©
  • After considering plurality, infertility treatment type was not associated with failing any developmental domain
  • No difference in parental reports of children using developmental services or referral to the New York State Early Intervention Program evaluation was observed between children conceived with and without infertility treatment

Given that not all forms of developmental disability can be diagnosed by 3 years of age, the authors will continue to evaluate the children until they are 8 years of age.

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