A comparison of metabolic health parameters in ICSI-conceived and naturally conceived adolescents

Susanne Elsner, Alexander Katalinic, Annika K. Ludwig, Barbara Sonntag, Max Johannes Martensen, Dorthe Kixmüller, Nora Eisemann, Michael Ludwig*

*Corresponding author for this work


Research question: Are there differences in the cardiometabolic health of ICSI-conceived adolescents compared with a control group, taking parental risk factors into account? Design: ICSI-conceived adolescents (n = 272), their mothers (n = 273) and naturally conceived control adolescents (n = 273) and their mothers (n = 273) provided a blood test and answered a health-related questionnaire. The adolescents also attended a physical examination. Results: ICSI-conceived males showed significantly higher mean weight (72.6 ± 15.1 versus 67.7 ± 12.6 kg, P = 0.005), body mass index (BMI) (22.2 ± 3.7 versus 21.0 ± 3.2 kg/m2, P = 0.007) and waist circumference (79.1 ± 11.6 versus 74.5 ± 8.7 cm, P < 0.001). The mean values for weight and BMI were also significantly higher in the ICSI parents. In the ICSI-conceived females significant differences in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (1.5 ± 0.3 versus 1.6 ± 0.3 mmol/l, P = 0.033) and triglyceride values (1.1 ± 0.5 versus 1.0 ± 0.4 mmol/l, P = 0.013) were observed. ICSI mothers also had significantly higher triglycerides (P = 0.002), higher glutamate pyruvate transaminase/alanine aminotransferase (P < 0.001) and higher alkaline phosphatase values (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Increased values for weight were found in the male and differences in lipid parameters in the female ICSI-conceived adolescents, which were reflected in the values of their parents. Adjustment for parental risk factors generally attenuated the differences between the ICSI and the control groups, but did not completely remove them. Whether these observed differences are clinically relevant for the future health of the participants requires further study. To increase knowledge in this area, future studies should also include parental data.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)686-697
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 10.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)


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