The Sixth Evian Annual Reproduction (EVAR) Workshop Group Meeting was held to evaluate the impact of IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection on the health of assisted-conception children. Epidemiologists, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists and geneticists presented data from published literature and ongoing research on the incidence of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities and congenital malformations in assisted-conception versus naturally conceived children to reach a consensus on the reasons for potential differences in outcomes between these two groups. IVF-conceived children have lower birthweights and higher peripheral fat, blood pressure and fasting glucose concentrations than controls. Growth, development and cognitive function in assisted-conception children are similar to controls. The absolute risk of imprinting disorders after assisted reproduction is less than 1%. A direct link between assisted reproduction and health-related outcomes in assisted-conception children could not be established. Women undergoing assisted reproduction are often older, increasing the chances of obtaining abnormal gametes that may cause deviations in outcomes between assisted-conception and naturally conceived children. However, after taking into account these factors, it is not clear to what extent poorer outcomes are due to the assisted reproduction procedures themselves. Large-scale, multicentre, prospective epidemiological studies are needed to investigate this further and to confirm long-term health consequences in assisted-conception children.
- assisted reproduction
- imprinting disorders
- intracytoplasmic sperm injection
- children outcome