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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Nov;22(11):978-82. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2013.4399. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Public opinion regarding utilization of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in obese women.

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1 Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics , Iowa City, Iowa.



There have been calls to restrict access to fertility treatment in women above a certain body mass index (BMI). It is important to consider public expectations before formulating policy. The study objective was to assess public opinion regarding provision of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to obese (BMI>30 kg/m(2)) women in the United States. The study was conducted through an Internet-based survey of U.S. residents ages 18-75.


Multivariate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression to describe predictors of response based on demographic characteristics.


Of the 1049 respondents, 60.7% support the use of ART in obese women. Adjusting for age and gender, the odds of support were over twice as high in participants with BMI>40 kg/m(2) as in normal-weight respondents (OR=2.87, 95% CI=1.28-6.44). Fifty-five percent of participants supported a BMI limit for access to ART. Both increasing education (p-value=0.02) and BMI (p-value=0.01) were inversely associated with support of a BMI limit. Individuals who had themselves used ART were also less likely (OR=0.27, 95% CI=0.07--0.99) to support a BMI limit.


In an Internet-based survey, participants who are in favor of ART are likely to support its use among obese women. More than 50% of these respondents also support implementation of a BMI limit for access to these services.

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