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ICSI and IVF are safe results from worlds largest, longest running study

Madrid, Spain: The world's largest and longest running study comparing children conceived through IVF and ICSI[1] with children conceived normally has confirmed that both assisted reproductive techniques are safe and that children conceived through these two techniques are healthy and, in general, doing as well as children conceived by natural means.

The study did find a moderately higher rate of malformations among the ICSI children and this aspect of the study is still being analysed at the time of writing this release. But, the researchers believe that the apparent increase could be due to selection bias in the control group of children.

Results from this international study are being presented for the first time at the late-breaking research session today (Wednesday 2 July) of the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The multi-centre EU supported-study involved researchers and children from five countries Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Sweden and the UK. It compared 541 ICSI and 440 IVF children with 542 normally conceived children and followed them up to the age of five. It was initiated by University College London paediatrician Dr Alastair Sutcliffe in response to concerns about the safety of assisted reproductive techniques, particularly ICSI. The study examined the obstetric and neonatal outcomes, malformations, and physical, cognitive, emotional psychological and social development of the children. It also examined the family relationships.

At a news briefing today in Madrid, co-investigator Professor Christina Bergh from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gteborg, Sweden, said: "This study is the most comprehensive ever done on IVF and ICSI children. Overall, the results are reassuring and lay to rest the fears that have been expressed about the health and welfare of children conceived through IVF and ICSI. It confirms the reassuring findings provided last year by a smaller,
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Contact: Margaret Willson
m.willson@mwcommunications.org.uk
44-0-1536-772181
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
2-Jul-2003


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