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Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 7;7:46207. doi: 10.1038/srep46207.

Association between assisted reproductive technology and the risk of autism spectrum disorders in the offspring: a meta-analysis.

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1
Department of Developmental Neuropsychology, School of Psychology, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, China.

Abstract

The association between the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk in offspring has been explored in several studies, but the result is still inconclusive. We assessed the risk of ASD in offspring in relation to ART by conducting a meta-analysis. A literature search in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Knowledge databases through April 30, 2016 was conducted to identify all the relevant records. Risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were computed to analyze the strength of association by using fixed- or random-effect models based on heterogeneity test in total and subgroup analyses. Analysis of the total 11 records (3 cohort studies and 8 case-control studies) revealed that the use of ART is associated with higher percentage of ASD (RR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.09-1.68, P = 0.007). In addition, subgroup analyses based on study design, study location and study quality were conducted, and some subgroups also showed a statistically significant association. Our study indicated that the use of ART may associated with higher risk of ASD in the offspring. However, further prospective, large, and high-quality studies are still required.

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