Journal Article

Looking downstream: a review of the literature on physical and psychosocial health outcomes in adolescents and young adults who were conceived by ART

C.L. Wilson, J.R. Fisher, K. Hammarberg, D.J. Amor and J.L. Halliday

in Human Reproduction

Published on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Volume 26, issue 5, pages 1209-1219
Published in print May 2011 | ISSN: 0268-1161
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2350 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/der041
Looking downstream: a review of the literature on physical and psychosocial health outcomes in adolescents and young adults who were conceived by ART

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BACKGROUND

The use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) is now well established in many countries and the first generations of offspring are reaching maturity. We reviewed the published literature to describe the available evidence about health outcomes in ART-conceived young people who were of an adolescent age or older.

METHODS

The EMBASE, Medline and PsychINFO databases were searched from January 1998 to October 2010. Key inclusion criteria were that the study sample have a mean age of ≥12 years or a mean follow-up period of ≥12 years and were conceived by ART.

RESULTS

Seven publications reported physical health outcomes and 10 reported psychosocial health outcomes in ART offspring. Compared with control groups, some differences in physiological outcomes in relation to growth and development, chronic illness and risk of cancer have been reported. Overall, psychosocial studies of ART-conceived young people indicate that their cognitive function and psychological and social adjustment are similar to that of comparison groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, nine ART-conceived populations of this age group have been studied. Most samples included <300 participants and methodologies varied between studies. Health information on this age group is therefore limited and the clinical significance of the findings remains unclear. Further research focusing on ART-conceived young adults is needed, particularly in relation to neurological health outcomes where no studies have been reported to date.

Keywords: assisted reproductive techniques; in vitro fertilization; adolescent development; growth and development; psychological adaptation

Journal Article.  7607 words. 

Subjects: Reproductive Medicine

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