Page URL:

IVF may increase gestational diabetes risk

23 September 2019
Appeared in BioNews 1016

Women who give birth following the use of assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF, are more likely to develop gestational diabetes, a new study suggests.

The analysis of nearly two million pregnancies found that women who became pregnant via such technologies were 53 percent more likely than women conceiving spontaneously to develop gestational diabetes.

'This rigorous assessment of the best available evidence to date shows that singleton pregnancies achieved by IVF are linked with an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes compared with pregnancies conceived naturally,' said lead author Dr Panagiotis Anagnostis from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

In a meta-analysis of data from 38 studies, the team found that out of the 63,760 women who became pregnant via assisted reproduction, 4776 developed gestational diabetes, compared with 158,526 out of the 1,870,734 who became pregnant naturally. 

Further analysis of 17 studies involving 21,606 women matched for age, height, weight, smoking status and ethnic origin found that 42 percent of those who underwent assisted reproduction were more at risk of developing gestational diabetes compared with spontaneous conception. The work was presented at this year's meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain.

'The authors have not controlled for various medical disorders that can give an increased likelihood of gestational diabetes, but they have controlled for weight and age,' noted Professor Charles Kingsland, clinical director of CARE Fertility based in London, who was not involved in the study. 'We cannot say from this that IVF causes gestational diabetes.'

But he added: 'Nevertheless, this is an important finding with respect to the development of gestational diabetes and infertility.' 

Dr Anagnostis said that although gestational diabetes is rare, 'women at risk must be identified and monitored'.

'Whether this risk is due to the medical intervention or the underlying infertility status of the couples undergoing assisted reproduction, is not yet fully understood and requires further research,' he said.

IVF linked to higher gestational diabetes risk, study suggests
Nursing Times |  20 September 2019
Large meta-analysis links IVF to higher gestational diabetes risk
EurekAlert |  18 September 2019
Mothers who have children through IVF are more likely to suffer gestational diabetes
Daily Mail |  18 September 2019
9 March 2020 - by Dr Helen Robertson 
Researchers have found that children's DNA expression can be altered by length of pregnancy...
2 March 2020 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
Stem cell therapy has been used in mice to functionally cure diabetes for the first time, as published in the journal Nature Biotechnology...
24 October 2016 - by Lone Hørlyck 
Bearing a child at a higher age does not increase risk of birth defects when the woman has received IVF or ICSI treatment to become pregnant, a recent study suggests...
13 January 2014 - by Siobhan Chan 
Babies born after fertility treatment could be twice as likely to suffer from complications such as low birth weight, premature birth and neonatal death, a large-scale study has found...
11 June 2012 - by James Brooks 
Use of assisted reproductive technologies like IVF carry with them an increased risk of complications for mother and child, a report from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists highlights...
26 September 2011 - by Victoria Kay 
Doctors in Canada will consider a policy to withhold IVF to obese women at a national meeting of fertility experts this week....
18 January 2010 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey 
Readers will have noticed a couple of news reports and Rosalind John's excellent commentary on this topic in the last few weeks, but I make no apology for returning to the subject so soon. I believe this area of research will spark interest from the media for years to come. This is not because I fear research will necessarily uncover some unsuspected risk to the health of people born after IVF (we can't know until we do the research) but because we are ...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.