Singleton infants born to mothers who are subfertile or treated with assisted reproductive technology (ART) are at higher risk for multiple adverse health outcomes beyond prematurity, a recent retrospective study shows.
Risks of chromosomal abnormalities, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular and respiratory conditions were all increased, compared with infants born to fertile mothers, in analyses of neonatal outcomes stratified by gestational age.
This population-based study is among the first to show differences in adverse birth outcomes beyond preterm birth and, more specifically, by organ system conditions across gestational age categories, according to, MPH, of the University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, and her coinvestigators.
“With this approach, we offer more detailed associations between maternal fertility and the receipt of treatment along the continuum of fetal organ development and subsequent infant health conditions,” Dr. Hwang and her coauthors wrote in.
The study, which included singleton infants of at least 23 weeks’ gestational age born during 2004-2010, was based on data from a Massachusetts clinical ART database () that was linked with state vital records.
Out of 350,123 infants with birth hospitalization records in the study cohort, 336,705 were born to fertile women, while 8,375 were born to women treated with ART, and 5,403 were born to subfertile women.
After adjustment for key maternal and infant characteristics, infants born to subfertile or ART-treated women were more often preterm as compared with infants to fertile mothers. Adjusted odds ratios were 1.39 (95% confidence interval, 1.26-1.54) and 1.72 (95% CI, 1.60-1.85) for infants of subfertile and ART-treated women, respectively, Dr. Hwang and her coinvestigators reported.
Infants born to subfertile or ART-treated women were also more likely to have adverse respiratory, gastrointestinal, or nutritional outcomes, with adjusted ORs ranging from 1.12 to 1.18, they added in the report.
Looking specifically at outcomes stratified by gestational age, they found an increased risk of congenital malformations, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular or respiratory outcomes, with adjusted ORs from 1.30 to 2.61, in the data published in the journal.
By contrast, there were no differences in risks of neonatal mortality, length of hospitalization, low birth weight, or neurologic and hematologic abnormalities for infants of subfertile and ART-treated women, compared with fertile women, according to Dr. Hwang and her coauthors.
These results confirm results of some previous studies that suggested a higher risk of adverse birth outcomes among infants born as singletons, according to the study authors.
“Although it is clearly accepted that multiple gestation is a significant predictor of preterm birth and low birth weight, recent studies have also revealed that, even among singleton births, mothers with infertility without ART treatment along with those who do undergo ART treatment are at higher risk for preterm delivery,” they wrote.
The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Authors said they had no financial relationships relevant to the study.
SOURCE: Hwang SS et al. .