NZ Herald 3 July 2013
Certain forms of IVF treatment are significantly associated with an increased risk of low intelligence in children, a major study has shown.
A link was also found with an especially severe type of autism, but only in the case of twins or triplets.
Scientists who analysed data on more than 2.5 million births stressed that the chances of an IVF baby being affected remained tiny in real terms.
They found a 51 per cent increased risk of intellectual impairment, marked by an IQ below 70, in children conceived by IVF treatments in which sperm cells are injected directly into eggs.
This amounted to a rise from 62 per 100,000 children (0.062 per cent) to 92 per 100,000 (0.092 per cent).
But the researchers said the result could not be explained by factors such as premature and multiple births and needed further investigation.