Asthma in 9-year-old children of subfertile couples is not associated with in vitro fertilization procedures

D B Kuiper, G H Koppelman, S la Bastide-van Gemert, J Seggers, M L Haadsma, T J Roseboom, A Hoek, M J Heineman, Mijna Hadders-Algra

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Asthma is a chronic reversible obstructive airway disease, which is common among children and leads to respiratory impairment. Studies showed that asthma is more common among children born after in vitro fertilization (IVF) than among spontaneously conceived children. However, it is unknown which component of the IVF procedure contributes to this putative link. Therefore, the aim of this prospective follow-up study was to differentiate the possible effect of ovarian hyperstimulation from that of the in vitro culture procedure on asthma and rhinitis in 9-year-old children conceived with IVF. The study comprised three groups of singletons: (I) conceived with ovarian hyperstimulation-IVF (COH-IVF, n = 95); (II) conceived with modified natural cycle-IVF (MNC-IVF, n = 48); and (III) naturally conceived to subfertile couples (Sub-NC, n = 68). Parents filled out the validated Dutch version of the asthma questionnaire of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies. Asthma prevalence in the groups did not differ: COH-IVF n = 8 (8%); MNC-IVF n = 0 (0%); and Sub-NC n = 4 (6%). Adjustment for confounders did not alter the results.Conclusion: Neither ovarian hyperstimulation nor the in vitro culture procedure was associated with asthma and rhinitis at 9 years. IVF children had a similar prevalence of asthma compared with children conceived naturally by subfertile couples.Trial registration: ISRCTN76355836 What is Known: • An increased risk for asthma has been observed in children born after in vitro fertilization at preschool and school age. • The association between IVF and asthma may be partly explained by parental subfertility. What is New: • IVF children do not have a higher prevalence of asthma than children of subfertile couples conceived naturally. • Ovarian hyperstimulation used in IVF is not associated with asthma in 9-year-old children of subfertile couples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1499
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2019

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