Study suggests that black babies born through assisted reproductive technology have a much higher risk of dying than white babies born by the same method.

Study suggests that black babies born through assisted reproductive technology have a much higher risk of dying than white babies born by the same method.


It has been known in research that Black children are twice as likely to die As white babies before their first birthday. Now, a new study suggests that this disparity is even greater when children are produced through in vitro fertilization or other forms of assisted reproductive technology.

the study, Published Wednesday in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that when conceived normally, newborn mortality is twice as high among black children than whites. But when visualized through assisted reproductive technology, newborn deaths were more than four times higher among children of black women.

Dr Sarka Lysonkova, study author and Co-professor In the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Children’s and Women’s Hospital of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Lysonkova said she believes that racial differences between children of women who use assisted reproductive technology will be smaller, “only based on the fact that the socioeconomic disparities will not be significant,” she said.

Certain social and economic inequalities – such as lack of equitable access to infant care or lack of health insurance – can lead to high rates of newborn mortality. But because fertility treatments can be expensive, Lisonkova hypothesized that there would be no significant socioeconomic differences between women undergoing treatment and, as a consequence, no significant differences in infant mortality outcomes.

Assisted Reproductive TechnologyWhich is used to treat infertility, and includes infertility treatments that include eggs and sperm. The most common type is IVF, which can be very expensive. Each course can cost $12,000 to $17,000, according to National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lisonkova was surprised by the new study’s findings: disparities in infant mortality grew rather than receded when examined only among children of women undergoing assisted reproductive technology.

Lysonkova said it appears that socioeconomic differences persist among women undergoing infertility treatments, which may lead to these disparities.

“It appears that there are still social and economic disparities, even in this particular group of relatively wealthier and educated women who are typically more inclined to undergo fertility treatments,” she said. So there is still residual confusion due to socio-economic status. The other thing is that there may be a difference in access to health services, particularly in this case of obstetric and maternity care services, and health services for newborns.”

The study, conducted by researchers in Canada, included data on more than 7.5 million babies born in the United States from 2016 to 2017, of whom 93,469 were born through medically assisted reproduction. The researchers examined data from birth and death certificates obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics, and took a closer look at the outcome of neonatal death, defined as death within an infant’s first 28 days.

The data showed that newborns of black mothers versus whites who conceived alone had a twofold higher neonatal mortality rate. These rates were four times higher in infants of black mothers versus white mothers who used an assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF.

Racial differences were also significantly greater between Asian, Pacific Islander and Hispanic women, each of whom had a 1.9-fold higher neonatal death rate when assisted reproductive technology was used. During spontaneous pregnancy, the infant mortality rate in Asia Pacific is reduced by 10% compared to white women.

“I was really surprised, frankly,” Lisonkova said of the overall results. “The relative risks are too high.”

However, she doesn’t want the study to discourage black, Latino, Asian, and Pacific Islander people from pursuing assisted reproduction. She advises people to make a birth plan and to consult and follow-up with their doctors.

“Don’t hesitate if you feel uncomfortable, or if you feel like something isn’t going well, see your doctor,” she said.

Lisonkova also recommends that health care providers keep a good watch on babies and their health after birth. She said providers have a responsibility to listen to women and provide more access to newborn care.

“This study should send shock waves through fertility centers, obstetrics and gynecology clinics, and high-risk maternity clinics everywhere,” Dr. Amy Ivazade, a San Francisco-based reproductive endocrinologist who was not involved in the new study, said in an email. to CNN.

“Anyone using medically assisted reproduction to conceive should be categorized as a high-risk pregnancy and have additional monitoring during and especially after pregnancy. I wrote that the complications this study describes are simply unacceptable and interventions should be instituted even before treatment begins.” This study tells me that our work is not done distance. We need to work even harder to improve maternal and newborn outcomes, and even more disturbing is this trend we’re observing in women of color seeking fertility treatment.”

Similar racial differences emerged between mothers as well. according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multiple factors contribute to disparities in maternal mortality, such as differences in access to quality health care, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism and implicit bias.

In 2020, a Report from the Center for Disease Control It found that infant mortality rates declined in the United States between 2000 and 2017, but that black children are still as much at risk of dying as white children.

Lysonkova said she hopes to move forward with expanding the research beyond the birth of one child to examine outcomes between twins, a common finding for assisted reproduction.

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