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Multiple IVF babies up cancer risk

health-and-fitness Updated: Jul 11, 2013 01:00 IST

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Women who give birth to multiple children after IVF therapy are at higher risk for breast cancer compared to women who have one child or don’t give birth after the procedure, a new study has found.

The study by Dr Els Groeneveld from the VU University Medical Centre of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, analysed data from the Omega study, a large Dutch nationwide cohort of 19,861 women who received IVF or ICSI treatment between 1983 and 1995. Between 1997 and 1999 all patients were questioned (by questionnaire) about their treatments and their outcome. Those who completed the questionnaire (12,589 women) were cross-referred to the Netherlands Cancer Registry.

Cohort analysis showed that over a median 16.7 years of follow-up 1688 women in the study gave birth to multiples (13%), 6027 delivered singletons (48 %), and 4874 remained childless (39 %). Among these women there were 317 confirmed diagnoses of breast cancer, of whom 57 gave birth to multiples, 155 to singletons, and 105 remained childless.