A new study found that late preterm babies conceived by in vitro fertilization were no more likely to show intellectual, neuropsychological or behavioral deficits as preschoolers than late preterm infants conceived without IVF. The findings, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, should reassure parents who conceive through IVF and deliver babies one to three weeks early, the authors say. The researchers evaluated 397 late preterm 3-year-old children, comprising 105 conceived by IVF and 292 non-IVF, who were born at a single hospital from 2004 to 2007. Standardized tests were used to assess intelligence, executive function, attention, visual-spatial perception, manual dexterity, learning and memory. The authors found no difference between the two groups after adjusting for birth weight, maternal age and maternal education. Previous studies have suggested that IVF babies are at increased risk of preterm birth and, while the data has been inconsistent, some researchers have linked IVF to an increased risk of developmental problems early in life.
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