Health outcomes during the first year for 95 infants born following in-vitro fertilization (IVF) were compared with those of 79 naturally conceived controls whose mothers were of identical parity and similar age. Primigravid women were enrolled prospectively at 30 weeks gestation, perinatal and neonatal data were collected during pregnancy and following birth, and details of health care resource use were obtained from mothers at 4 and 12 months. Median (range) number of medical problems during the first year tended to be less for IVF infants, 4 (0-41) versus 5 (0-12) (P = 0.07), whilst total number of visits to health care workers was similar for IVF and control infants, 19 (2-47) versus 19 (1-47). IVF infants were more likely to have an excessive number of visits to Early Childhood Health Care Centres [odds ratio (OR; 95% confidence interval, CI) = 2.44 (1.11-5.56)], but less likely to have an excessive number of visits to general medical practitioners [OR = 0.45 (0.22-0.93)] and other health care workers [OR = 0.48 (0.23-0.99)]. These data provide some degree of reassurance about medium-term health outcomes for children conceived using IVF. Although they are more likely to utilize the resources of neonatal intensive care units, IVF infants do not appear to have an increased number of medical problems or to over-utilize health care resources during the remainder of their first year of life.
- Health care