In a recently published article using data collected through the Upstate KIDS study, researchers observed that children conceived via infertility treatments are no more likely to have a developmental delay than children conceived without such treatments.
The study, led by researchers at the University at Albany School of Public Health, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and published online in JAMA Pediatrics, may help to reduce previous concerns that conception after infertility treatment may affect the developing embryo and result in long-term disability.
The unique partnership between the University at Albany’s School of Public Health and the NYSDOH created an opportunity for this large collaboration with NIH to study developmental delays in children. The Upstate New York Infant Development Screening Program (Upstate KIDS), enrolled about 5,000 families who gave birth in New York State between 2008 and 2010. The study, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, analyzed birth records and questionnaire results to identify factors that increase the risk for developmental delays and other problems. Also taking part in the study were researchers from CapitalCare Pediatrics in Troy, New York.
The authors found no differences in developmental assessment scores of more than 1,800 children born to women who became pregnant after receiving infertility treatment and those of more than 4,000 children born to women who did not undergo such treatments.
“When we began this study, there was little research on the potential effects of conception via fertility treatments on U.S. children,” said Dr. Edwina Yeung, an investigator at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). “Through the collaborative efforts with the NYSDOH and University of Albany, we were able to examine this important question.”
“We wish to thank the Upstate KIDS families for their continued dedication to this study; given their participation, we were able to show results that are reassuring for families with children conceived with these treatments,” said Dr. Erin Bell, an associate professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health.
Among the key findings highlighted in the article:
Given that not all forms of developmental disability can be diagnosed by 3 years of age, the study authors will continue to evaluate the children until they are 8 years of age.