Health of babies born through IVF has improved, study says

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A study examining data from more than 92,000 children in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden finds that the health of children born through assisted reproduction has been improving.

Today fewer babies conceived through in vitro fertilization are being born preterm or with low birth weight. Also, fewer IVF babies are stillborn and fewer are dying in the first year of life.

For the study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, scientists analyzed the outcomes of thousands of individual babies and thousands of twins, all born between 1988 and 2007. These babies were compared with large control groups of babies conceived without IVF.

“During the 20-year period of our study, we observed a remarkable decline in the risk of of being born preterm or very preterm,” said Anna-Karina Aaris Henningsen, a researcher at University of Copenhagen who worked on the study. “The proportion of single (assisted reproduction) babies born with a low or very low birth weight — less than 2,500 grams or 1,500 grams respectively — also decreased. The rates for stillbirths and death during the first year declined…”

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