A descriptive study of asthma in young adults conceived by IVF

Reprod Biomed Online. 2010 Dec;21(6):812-8. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.07.009. Epub 2010 Aug 2.


Although asthma has been previously associated with preterm delivery and low birthweight, evidence supporting a relationship between IVF and asthma remains inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to characterize asthma experiences in the oldest IVF-conceived generation in the USA. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 173 young adults (age: 18-26 years) conceived by conventional IVF between 1981 and 1990 at a major fertility treatment centre. A self-administered questionnaire was used with standard questions adapted from the 2008 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess asthma characteristics. Sixteen percent of participants reported a lifetime diagnosis of asthma; nearly half of those were no longer experiencing asthma symptoms at the time of the survey. The asthma profile of young adults conceived by IVF appeared to be favourable compared with the general population of the USA. Although few statistically significant results were obtained, low birthweight infants and individuals of a multiple gestation tended to be diagnosed at a later stage and were more likely to be current asthmatics seeking healthcare services than normal-weight infants and individuals of a singleton gestation. Further studies using larger samples and more advanced designs are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / pathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult