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N Engl J Med. 2002 Mar 7;346(10):731-7.

Low and very low birth weight in infants conceived with use of assisted reproductive technology.

Author information

1
Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA. LJS9@cdc.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The increased risk of low birth weight associated with the use of assisted reproductive technology has been attributed largely to the higher rate of multiple gestations associated with such technology. It is uncertain, however, whether singleton infants conceived with the use of assisted reproductive technology may also have a higher risk of low birth weight than those who are conceived spontaneously.

METHODS:

We used population-based data to compare the rates of low birth weight (less-than-or-equal 2500 g) and very low birth weight (<1500 g) among infants conceived with assisted reproductive technology with the rates in the general population.

RESULTS:

We studied 42,463 infants who were born in 1996 and 1997 and conceived with assisted reproductive technology and used as a comparison group 3,389,098 infants born in the United States in 1997. Among singleton infants born at 37 weeks of gestation or later, those conceived with assisted reproductive technology had a risk of low birth weight that was 2.6 times that in the general population (95 percent confidence interval, 2.4 to 2.7). The use of assisted reproductive technology was associated with an increased rate of multiple gestations; however, its use was not associated with a further increase in the risk of low birth weight in multiple births. Among twins, the ratio of the rate of low birth weight after the use of assisted reproductive technology to the rate in the general population was 1.0 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 1.1). Infants conceived with assisted reproductive technology accounted for 0.6 percent of all infants born to mothers who were 20 years of age or older in 1997, but for 3.5 percent of low-birth-weight and 4.3 percent of very-low-birth-weight infants.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of assisted reproductive technology accounts for a disproportionate number of low-birth-weight and very-low-birth-weight infants in the United States, in part because of absolute increases in multiple gestations and in part because of higher rates of low birth weight among singleton infants conceived with this technology.

PMID:
11882728
DOI:
10.1056/NEJMoa010806
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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