APR 27, 2022 3:00 AM PDT

Asthma Risk Increased in Children Conceived with Infertility Treatment

WRITTEN BY: Katie Kokolus

Asthma is a disease characterized by difficulty breathing, and an asthma attack can bring on bouts of coughing and wheezing in those afflicted with this condition. About six million children in the United States have asthma. The CDC estimates that 1 in 6 children with asthma require emergency treatment each year, and 1 in 20 children with asthma require hospitalization.  

Many genetic and environmental factors can increase a child’s risk of developing asthma. Early life exposures like the mother's diet and cesarean delivery can  even increase the risk of asthma. Last year, a meta-analysis suggested infertility treatments as an additional early life exposure impacting asthma risk. However, studies on the association between infertility treatment and asthma risk are limited, especially in cohorts of children in the United States. 

Given the suggestive yet limited information available, a group of researchers from various institutions initiated a large-scale study to investigate whether children conceived with infertility treatment exhibited an elevated risk of developing asthma. The results of this study were recently published in the journal Human Reproduction.

The data emerged from the Upstate KIDS Study, a collaborative prospective cohort study that “tracked the growth, motor, and social development of children to examine associations with parental medical conditions and characteristics, including infertility treatments, environmental, and other exposures.” The study enrolled over 5,000 mothers and their 6,171 children born between 2008 and 2010.  

Mothers enrolled in the study reported the fertility agents used to become pregnant. The analysis found that 22% of the mothers used Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), 20% used ovulation induction (OI) and/or intrauterine insemination (IUI), and 58% used no infertility treatment. While the researchers found no significant differences in asthma risk between children conceived with ART versus OI/IUI, they detected substantial impacts of infertility treatment overall. The analysis revealed that children conceived with any infertility treatment exhibited an increased risk of persistent wheeze by age three when compared to those conceived without treatment. By age nine, children conceived with treatment were more likely to have asthma than those conceived without treatment.  

Overall, the authors conclude that both ART and OI/IUI increase the risk of children developing asthma at a young age.  This data may encourage additional studies investigating the mechanisms underlying the link between these infertility treatments and asthma.  A clear picture of the mechanistic links may assist with diagnosis and therapeutic development for treating asthma.

 

Sources: Am J Clin Nutr, Am J Epidemiol, Er J Pediatrics, Human Reproduction, Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol

About the Author
PhD
PhD in Tumor Immunology. I am interested in developing novel strategies to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies used to extend cancer survivorship.
You May Also Like
MAY 02, 2022
Cancer
Prostate Cancer: What's in a Name?
MAY 02, 2022
Prostate Cancer: What's in a Name?
Hearing the word “cancer” could have a significant psychological impact on a patient waiting on a diagnosis. ...
MAY 30, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Decades Later, Wildfires Increase Risk of Cancer
MAY 30, 2022
Decades Later, Wildfires Increase Risk of Cancer
Wildfires are becoming more numerous and severe as a result of climate change. As atmospheric patterns related to temper ...
MAY 24, 2022
Cardiology
Obesity in Pregnancy Increases Child's Risk of Heart Disease
MAY 24, 2022
Obesity in Pregnancy Increases Child's Risk of Heart Disease
Obesity and unhealthy diets cause gene expression changes that negatively impact the cardiac function of offspring.
MAY 31, 2022
Cardiology
Sitting Is an Independent Risk Factor for Heart Disease
MAY 31, 2022
Sitting Is an Independent Risk Factor for Heart Disease
TV viewing, sitting during work, and even riding in cars can lead to worse heart health.
JUN 13, 2022
Technology
New Technology Allows for Quick Ebola Diagnosis
JUN 13, 2022
New Technology Allows for Quick Ebola Diagnosis
Ebola is a deadly disease that can spread easily through bodily fluids. Several outbreaks have occurred over the years, ...
JUN 24, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Influenza Vaccine Shown to Decrease the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
JUN 24, 2022
Influenza Vaccine Shown to Decrease the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder affecting memory and mental functions that currently affects over 6 ...
Loading Comments...