Fertility treatment does not adversely affect cardiovascular health of offspring, international study suggests
HFEA Chief Executive responds to a study led by the University of Bristol that looks at the effects of fertility treatment on the cardiovascular health of children born as a result.
A large study looking at the effects of fertility treatment has found no robust difference in blood pressure, heart rate, lipids, and glucose measurements between children conceived naturally and those conceived using assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
The University of Bristol-led study, published in European Heart Journal sought to address concerns around whether fertility treatment leads to adverse cardiometabolic health in offspring. The data sample included 8,600 children from Bristol’s Children of the 90s study, a world-leading health study which has followed pregnant women and their offspring since 1991.
In response to this study, Peter Thompson, Chief Executive, The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: “Each year around 60,000 patients use fertility services in the UK in the hope of one day having a family of their own. Those patients should be reassured by this study which shows that the heart health of children born from assisted reproduction technologies, like IVF, are no different from children conceived naturally.
“Science and research move rapidly in the fertility sector but it is widely acknowledged that more large scale studies like this are needed to continually drive improvements in care. Health outcomes in children conceived using assisted reproductive technologies are a high priority for the HFEA and we monitor the latest research and provide information for patients and professionals. Anyone considering fertility treatment in the UK should visit www.hfea.gov.uk for high quality impartial information on treatment options and licensed clinics.”
To view the paper visit the European Heart Journal.
Review date: 6 February 2025