Researchers from the University Hospital in Bern, Switzerland examined 65 healthy Swiss children whose parents used ART, as well as 57 children whose parents did not. Among the children whose parents used ART, 21 were conceived by IVF and 44 were conceived by intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
The authors of the study, published in the American Heart Association Journal, found that children whose parents used ART had an increased chance of developing a vascular dysfunction. They concluded that the process of embryo manipulation was a likely cause of the increased risk of the cardiac disease.
The increased risk could result from the handling of the embryos, exposure to chemical rich media, or exposure outside the body, said Dr. David S. Celermajer of the University of Sydney in Australia in an accompanying editorial.
Although ART methods have been used for nearly 30 years, little data exists on the long term health concerns of children born from these treatments. Celermajer called for further studies to take place that can investigate this concern and further examine the effects of gamete and embryo manipulation, according to Medpage Today.
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