University of WA study finds WA teens born through IVF less aggressive but more at risk for depression

According to a groundbreaking research study conducted at the University of Western Australia, IVF children are less likely to be aggressive or delinquent in adolescence, but they may be more prone to depression.

The unique UWA research, in partnership with the Raine Study, examined the mental health of 163 adolescents born in Western Australia following an IVF process and compared to a control group of adolescents.

And the results, which have now been published in the journal ‘Human Reproduction’, showed that IVF offspring were more responsible and better behaved.

“The results of our latest study are interesting because they show that at ages 14 and 17, ART-conceived adolescents behave better, demonstrating less externalized behavioral traits,” said study leader Professor Roger Hart. .

However, Professor Hart said a slight increase in depression has been noted in 14-year-olds conceived with assisted reproductive technology.

“At age 14, IVF offspring had a higher incidence of clinical depression (12% versus 8%) although this difference disappeared at age 17,” Professor Hart said.

“It is reassuring that differences in depression rates were not observed at age 17, but these results need to be replicated.

“As the use of assisted reproduction is common and mental health disorders increase, knowledge of a potential association is important for parents and healthcare providers.”

Camera iconProfessor Roger Hart. Credit: Provided

The team also published an article earlier this year by Laura Wijs, of UWA’s Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, which looked at the general health of adolescent IVF.

Professor Hart said he found that IVF girls had lower body mass index and less fat than the control group – but no significant difference was found with adolescent boys.

“Other reassuring data for the IVF children themselves and their parents is that our research showed that there was no difference in blood measures of cardiac or metabolic risk between the two groups,” he said. he declares.

One in 20 babies born in Australia is now conceived through IVF.

“We really hope these studies provide reassurance to couples considering embarking on IVF treatment, children and adults born from IVF treatment, and IVF clinicians counseling their patients who are struggling to conceive,” said added Professor Hart.

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