Children born via IVF face a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes, as they are six times more likely to suffer high blood pressure than other children, a study found.
A study of 96 children in Switzerland found that one in seven children born via IVF had clinically high blood pressure by age 16.
That compares to a figure of 2.3% among naturally conceived children.
‘The increased prevalence of arterial hypertension in (IVF) participants is what is most concerning,’ said lead author Dr Emrush Rexhaj, director of Arterial Hypertension and Altitude Medicine at University Hospital in Bern.
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‘There is growing evidence that assisted reproduction alters the blood vessels in children, but the long-term consequences were not known.
‘We now know that this places children at a six times higher rate of hypertension than children conceived naturally.’
The researchers measured blood pressure in children at age 11, and found no difference – but found a measurable difference at age 16.
Dr Rexhaj said, ‘It only took five years for differences in arterial blood pressure to show,” added Dr Rexhaj said.
‘This is a rapidly growing population and apparently healthy children are showing serious signs of concern for early cardiovascular risk, especially when it comes to arterial hypertension.’