Increased time to pregnancy is associated with suboptimal neurological condition of 2-year-olds

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate whether time to pregnancy (TTP) is associated with neurological condition of 2-year-old children born to subfertile parents.

Design

Data collected in a prospective, assessor-blinded follow-up study were used for cross-sectional analyses.

Patients

Participants were the singletons of the Groningen assisted reproductive technique cohort study: all children were born to subfertile couples (n=209). The active waiting TTP of the couples obtained from fertility charts was recorded in years and months, and was converted to decimal years.

Main outcome measure

The presence of minor neurological dysfunction (MND), assessed with the Hempel examination.

Results

MND was present in 16 (7.7%) children. TTP of children with MND (median 4.1, range 1.6–13.2) was significantly longer than that of children without MND (median 2.8, range 0.1–13.3; Mann-Whitney U test p=0.014). Logistic regression analysis on the contribution of TTP to MND resulted in a crude OR of 1.27 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.54). After correction for gestational age, parental age and parental level of education, the association remained statistically significant: OR=1.30 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.61).

Conclusions

Increased TTP was associated with suboptimal neurological development in 2-year-old children. This suggests that subfertility and its determinants are involved in the genesis of neurodevelopmental problems.

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