Publication Details

Sutcliffe, A. G., Melhuish, E., Barnes, J. & Gardiner, J. (2014). Health and Development of Children Born after Assisted Reproductive Technology and Sub-Fertility Compared to Naturally Conceived Children: Data from a National Study. Pediatric Reports, 6 (5118), 1-7.


In a non-matched case-control study using data from two large national cohort studies, we investigated whether indicators of child health and development up to 7 years of age differ between children conceived using assisted reproductive technology (ART), children born after sub-fertility (more than 24 months of trying for conception) and other children. Information on ART use/sub-fertility was available for 23,649 children. There were 227 cases (children conceived through ART) and two control groups: 783 children born to sub-fertile couples, and 22,639 children born to couples with no fertility issues. In models adjusted for social and demographic factors there were significant differences between groups in rate of hospital admissions before the children were 9 months old (P=0.029), with the ART group showing higher rates of hospital admission than the no fertility issues control group, the sub-fertile control group being intermediate between the two. Children born after ART had comparable health and development beyond 9 months of age to their naturally conceived peers. This applied to the whole sample and to a sub-sample of children from deprived neighborhoods.



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