The prevalence of infertility has been estimated at 9% worldwide. The steadily increasing
use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has allowed millions of infertile couples to
have children. These children make up for 1 to 4% of the population in developed countries.
ART involves the manipulation of early embryos at a time when they may be particularly
vulnerable to external disturbances. In line with this concept, studies in mice suggest that
ART alters the activity of enzymes involved in the regulation of metabolic and
cardiovascular homeostasis. Alternatively, infertility itself or the drugs used to stimulate
ovulation may have adverse effects on the outcome of the offspring. The safety of ART for
long-term health is, therefore, of utmost importance. Among the potential long-term
consequences of ART, cardiovascular disease may represent an important candidate, but there
is no information.
Preliminary data from our group show that, children born after in vitro fertilization (IVF)
present systemic and pulmonary vascular dysfunction at high-altitude when compared to age-
and sex-matched control subjects.
Therefore, the major goal of our proposal is to test the hypothesis that apparently healthy
children born after ART display vascular dysfunction of both the pulmonary and the systemic
- Offspring of ART
- No medication
- Born at term
- Cardio-pulmonary malformations
- Neuro-muscular malformations
- Previous high altitude diseases