Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children born to women after fertility treatment at greater risk of psychiatric disorders

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Summary:
Children born to women with fertility problems have a higher risk of psychiatric disorders than naturally conceived children, Danish research suggests. The increase in risk was described as 'modest' by researchers, but was found to persist throughout childhood and into young adulthood. Research suggests that 1.9% of all diagnosed psychiatric disorders in Denmark are associated with the mother's infertility.

Children born to women with fertility problems have a higher risk of psychiatric disorders than naturally conceived children. The increase in risk was described as "modest" by researchers from Denmark, but was found to persist throughout childhood and into young adulthood.

The results, which are presented today at the 30th Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Munich by Dr Allan Jensen of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center at the University of Copenhagen, were derived from a register study of all children born in Denmark between 1969 and 2006.

From a grand total of 2,430,826 children, 124,384 (5%) were born to women with registered fertility problems and 2,306,442 children (95%) to women without such problems. All the children were followed up for psychiatric disorders until 2009.

During this follow-up period (a median of around 20 years), 170,240 children were hospitalised for a psychiatric disorder. Those born to women with fertility problems were found to have a 33% greater overall risk of any defined psychiatric disorders, which was statistically significant (HR 1.33, 95% confidence interval 1.20-1.36).

Statistically significant hazard ratios for specific groups of psychiatric disorders were found for schizophrenia and psychoses (1.27, 1.16-1.38), affective disorders (1.32, 1.25-1.39), anxiety and other neurotic disorders (1.37, 1.32-1.42), mental and behavioural syndromes including eating disorders (1.13, 1.04-1.24), mental retardation (1.28, 1.17-1.40), mental development disorders including autism spectrum disorders (1.22, 1.16-1.28), and behavioural and emotional disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (1.40, 1.34-1.46), when compared with rates in naturally conceived children.

When separate analyses were performed for psychiatric disorders diagnosed during childhood (0-19 years) and in young adulthood (≥20 years), the investigators found that the risk estimates were not markedly changed, indicating that the increased risks persist into adulthood.

Commenting on the results, Dr Jensen said that professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of women with fertility problems should be aware of "the small, but potentially increased risk of psychiatric disorders among the children born to women with fertility problems." However, this knowledge, he added, "should always be balanced against the physical and psychological benefits of a pregnancy."

Only a few studies have investigated the risk of psychiatric disorders among children born after fertility treatment. Although results from most of these studies do not find an increased risk, the results do show substantial variation, said Dr Jensen; this may be because of the limited size and follow-up time in most of them. This study is the first with sufficient numbers and an adequately long follow-up period to enable a realistic assessment of risk patterns into young adulthood.

A calculation made by Dr Jensen -- based on a 33% overall increased risk of psychiatric disorders in children born to women with fertility problems and on the proportion of children born in Denmark following fertility treatment -- suggests that 1.9% of all diagnosed psychiatric disorders in Denmark are associated with the mother's infertility. "In my opinion," said Dr Jensen, "this figure supports our interpretation of the results -- that the increased risk is real but modest."

Despite the size of the study, it was not able to establish if the increased risk was associated with factors related to the mother's infertility (genetic or biological) or to its treatment. "So the exact mechanisms behind the observed increase in risk are still unknown," explained Dr Jensen, "but it is generally believed that underlying infertility has a more important role in adverse effects in the offspring than the treatment procedures. It is known, for example, that psychiatric disorders to some degree have a genetic component. It is perhaps thus likely that that these damaged genes coding for psychiatric diseases are overrepresented in women with fertility problems, and, if transferred to their offspring, this may at least partly explain the increased risk of psychiatric diseases."

However, Dr Jensen noted that other results from long-term cohort studies are sparse and inconsistent, but in general do not show strong associations between infertility, fertility treatment and risk of psychiatric disorders.(2) However," said Dr Jensen, "our study is the largest to date. It includes the highest number of children and a long enough follow-up time to adequate assess the risk into adulthood."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "Children born to women after fertility treatment at greater risk of psychiatric disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094741.htm>.
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2014, June 30). Children born to women after fertility treatment at greater risk of psychiatric disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094741.htm
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "Children born to women after fertility treatment at greater risk of psychiatric disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094741.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins