Children who are born with the use of intensive IVF treatment could have a greater risk of developing heart disease later in life compared to those conceived naturally, according to scientists who will make presentations at a U.K.-based group's conference this week.
The issue will be discussed at the annual conference of ISMAAR, which promotes education, training and research into mild approaches in assisted reproduction, to be held Thursday and Friday in London, Daily Mail reported, quoting the group's president, Prof. Geeta Nargund.
Fertility clinics administer high doses of powerful drugs to stimulate egg production, which could cause higher blood pressure and stiffness and thickness of arteries, according to some scientists.
The United Kingdom has about 66,000 IVF children, many of whom are suspected to be born through the "high stimulation" approach.
This approach could also result in poor quality eggs and compromised wombs due to extreme levels of the hormone oestrogen, Nargund was quoted as saying.
Prof. Anja Pinborg of Copenhagen University was quoted as saying that there may not be sufficient evidence yet of IVF children suffering more heart disease in adulthood, but "it's still debatable."
Pinborg will also make a presentation at the ISMAAR conference.
Among the conference speakers is Louise Joy Brown, who is the first of more than 6.5 million babies born by IVF thus far.
"Almost 40 years ago, Jean Purdy observed that an embryo in a petri dish had divided into eight cells. It was implanted in Lesley Brown, and after nine years trying and failing to conceive, she became pregnant. 38 weeks later, her daughter Louise Joy Brown was born … Today, the practice that seemed so controversial 40 years ago is commonplace," ISMAAR says on its website.
"It's opened things up for couples that need help, same sex couples, these are all positives," it quotes Louise as saying. "It's mind blowing."
The conference is named "ISMAR 2018: The Ninth World Congress on Mild Approaches in Assisted Reproduction."
The Telegraph reported in 2011 that a growing number of in vitro fertilized moms in the United Kingdom were terminating babies out of the fear of having multiple children.
More than 100 babies were aborted in 2010 by IVF women pregnant with more than one child, such as twins or triplets. Data from the Department of Health in the U.K. showed selective abortions had significantly increased since 2006.
In 2006, 59 women were recorded as terminating at least one unborn baby and this figure jumped to more than 85 during 2010.