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Annals of Internal MedicineRisk for Congenital Anomalies in Children Conceived with Medically Assisted Fertility Treatment: A Population-Based Cohort Study

ART Conception Linked to Increased Risk of Genitourinary Abnormalities

In a recent study, researchers investigated the potential risks associated with assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and their impact on congenital anomalies (CAs) in children. The study aimed to discern whether the underlying infertility or the fertility treatment itself contributed to these risks.

HCN Medical Memo
It is crucial to counsel patients about the small increased risk for genitourinary abnormalities after ART, particularly after ICSI. This information could impact your practice and patient care by informing treatment decisions and patient counseling. In the broader context of healthcare, these findings could indicate a potential paradigm shift towards more personalized and risk-aware fertility treatments.

Study Design

  • The study was a propensity score–weighted population-based cohort study conducted in New South Wales, Australia.
  • The participants included 851,984 infants (828,099 singletons and 23,885 plural children) delivered between 2009 and 2017.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.7% of all infants born in the US every year are conceived using ART.

Key Findings

  • The overall incidence of CAs was 459 per 10,000 singleton births and 757 per 10,000 plural births.
  • Compared with naturally conceived singleton control infants with no parental history of infertility, ART-conceived singleton infants had an elevated risk for major genitourinary abnormalities.
  • This risk remained unchanged even when compared with naturally conceived singleton control infants with a parental history of infertility.
  • ICSI in couples without male infertility was associated with an increased risk for major genitourinary abnormalities.
  • There were no increased risks for CAs among OI/IUI-conceived infants.

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