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Preterm births explain cerebral palsy risk after IVFs

By: Reuters

"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Research confirms that the reason more children born after in vitro fertilization (IVF) have a higher than average risk of cerebral palsy is largely due to the association between IVF and preterm delivery.

In a study that included all live, single infants and twins born in Denmark within a 6-year period, preterm birth was "the most powerful predictor of cerebral palsy," report investigators in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Preterm birth is "a major step on the causal path to cerebral palsy among IVF children, for single infants as well as twins," Dr. Dorte Hvidtjorn from the University of Aarhus and colleagues note.

"These findings, which are consistent with other studies, are of great public health importance," they add, "and call for prevention of the high rate of multiple births and preterm deliveries in IVF."

Included in the team's analyses were 9,255 children conceived through IVF and 394,713 children conceived without IVF. Infants born after IVF, a common method of assisted reproduction, are sometimes referred to as "test tube" babies. An egg and sperm are combined and resulting embryo is implanted into the uterus. Usually several embryos are implanted into the womb to increase the chances of a successful implantation."

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