Children born though in vitro fertilization are at an increased risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, according to a new research published Sunday in the journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Of 54 young, healthy 16-year-olds conceived through IVF, researchers found that all had significantly higher blood pressure than a comparable group of teenagers who were conceived naturally.
While the majority of the IVF group had a slightly higher blood pressure than the naturally conceived group — 119/71 mm Hg (millimeters of hemoglobin) compared to 115/69 mm Hg — eight adolescents met the criteria for hypertension, with an average blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg.
In 2017, the American College of Cardiology updated its guidelines suggesting that risky high blood pressure is 130/80 mm/Hg compared to the previous recommendation of 140/90 mm/Hg.
Moreover, the researchers found the IVF group developed circulatory problems over a short period of time, about five years, having evaluated them since they were 11 years old. At their baseline, researchers observed similar blood pressures for both groups.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Larry A. Weinrauch wrote that there should be increased monitoring of heart health for children born through IVF.
“Early study, detection and treatment of [Assisted Reproductive Technology] conceived individuals may be the appropriate course of preventative action,” he wrote. “We need to be vigilant in the development of elevated blood pressure among children conceived through ART to implement early lifestyle-based modifications and, if necessary, pharmacotherapy.”
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