In Vitro Fertilization Less Effective in Asian Women Than White Women, Study Finds
Asian women are less likely than white women to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization, according to a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, Reuters/Orange County Register reports. For the report, Karen Purcell of Fertility Physicians of Northern California and colleagues examined 25,843 whites and 1,429 Asian nationwide who underwent IVF, in addition to 370 white and 197 Asian women treated at a clinic in San Francisco. The women had similarities in conditions that could affect IVF outcome, such as the number of eggs retrieved per cycle, age, hormone level, cause of male infertility, type of treatment and dosage of hormones. From the national data, Asian women were 29% less likely to become pregnant and 31% less likely to deliver a live infant than white women. Among the women in San Francisco, Asian were 31% less likely to become pregnant and 33% less likely to deliver a live infant than white women, according to the study. Researchers said the results might be related to some genetic or biological differences, as well as environmental factors. Previous studies have found that Asian and Pacific Islanders have higher levels of methyl mercury in their blood system because they consume high amounts of seafood, which could be toxic to the development of an embryo, Reuters/Register reports. Researchers recommend further investigation but noted, "Physicians and patients need to be aware that infertile Asian women may have more difficulty conceiving than Caucasian women, and appropriate counseling should be made during the treatment course for Asian women" (Reuters/Orange County Register, 3/21).
An abstract of the study is available online.