New Study Examines Heart Risk of Children Born Using IVF

Health Canal reported last week on the results of a new study which sought to examine the health of aging children who were born using in Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The first IVF birth took place in 1978-at the time referred to as “test tube babies.” That means that the first wave of IVF babies is now about thirty four years old. This new research project sought to examine the health of these individuals to determine if the same basic health outcomes were seen in IVF children as compared to those born naturally. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers realize that the results may one day lead to changes in IVF procedures in order to account for any unwelcome results.

It has long-been known that IVF babies have some general increased risks of malformation. Anywhere from 20% to 30% more IVF babies will not develop properly when compared to natural conception and development. Yet, the overall risk of malformation is very low, and so this increase in the risk does not result in a tremendous increase in the total number of developmental problems.

Yet, this latest research effort examined the more subtle (and potentially widespread) issue related to increased risk of cardiovascular risks, like heart attacks and strokes. Are IVF babies more likely to face these harms when they are older?

The latest research effort found that IVF children may have an increased risk of suffering from a cardiovascular disease down the road. This conclusion was reached by medical examinations of a group of teens born using IVF and a group without using IVF. The researchers found “significant adverse changes in their developing blood vessels.” The problems in the IVF children were likely caused by events that happened in the test-tube according to a report by the researchers published in the latest issue of the journal Circulation.

Our Illinois birth injury lawyers believe that it will be important for all medical professionals dealing with in vitro fertilization birth to incorporate all relevant information from these sorts of research efforts into practices and procedures in the future. This is of growing importance because recent estimates suggest that anywhere from one to three percent of all births (at least in developed nations) involve this sort of fertilization As we often explain, the law does not guarantee any child or family member no injury or long-term harm that is in any way connected to developments in the womb or birth. However, the law does demand that caregivers take reasonable steps to limit the risks of harm.

The determination of what is or is not reasonable depends in large part of available medical knowledge and common practices in the profession. For in vitro fertilization, the birth injury risks might be able to be limited with changes in protocol while the embryo is in the test tube. If more information makes those changes clearly necessary, then the reasonable standards might change. The law may then require facilities to incorporate those changes, with potential legal liability if a facility lapses.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

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