OBJECTIVES:

We examined the prevalence of Early Intervention (EI) enrollment in Massachusetts comparing singleton children conceived via assisted reproductive technology (ART), children born to mothers with indicators of subfertility but no ART (Subfertile), and children born to mothers who had no indicators of subfertility and conceived naturally (Fertile). We assessed the natural direct effect (NDE), the natural indirect effect (NIE) through preterm birth, and the total effect of ART and subfertility on EI enrollment.

METHODS:

We examined maternal and infant characteristics among singleton ART (n = 6447), Subfertile (n = 5515), and Fertile (n = 306 343) groups and characteristics associated with EI enrollment includingpreterm birth using χ2 statistics (α = 0.05). We estimated the NDE and NIE of the ART–EI enrollment relationship by fitting a model for enrollment, conditional on ART, preterm and the ART-preterm delivery interaction, and covariates. Similar analyses were conducted by using Subfertile as the exposure.

RESULTS:

The NDE indicated that the odds of EI enrollment were 27% higher among the ART group (odds ratioNDE = 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.19 ̶ 1.36) and 20% higher among the Subfertilegroup (odds ratioNDE = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.12 ̶ 1.29) compared with the Fertile group, even if the rate of preterm birth is held constant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Singleton children conceived through ART and children of subfertile mothers both have elevated risks of EI enrollment. These findings have implications for clinical providers as they counsel women about child health outcomes associated with ART or subfertility.

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