IVF treatment 'could have negative effects on a child's health'

24 April 2012

Women who use IVF drugs in order to increase their chances of becoming pregnant could be subjecting their unborn children to potential health problems.

Researchers from France have found that fertility-boosting treatment more than doubles a child's risk of contracting leukaemia during their lives.

In order to reach this conclusion, the group studied 764 French children diagnosed with acute leukaemia and 1,681 children who did not have the condition.

The results revealed that mothers who had used IVF treatment caused a 2.6-fold increase in their children developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Researchers also found that there was a 2.3-fold increase in a child suffering from the rarer form of the disease, acute myeloid leukaemia.

Study leader Dr Jeremie Rudant, of the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, stated: "More research is now needed to investigate more closely the link between specific types of fertility drugs and what role the underlying causes of infertility may play in the potential development of childhood leukaemia."

In 2008 alone, Cancer Research UK highlighted that 7,659 people from the UK were diagnosed with a form of leukaemia.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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