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Upstate Children Part of a Major Study
Thousands of infants in New York will help answer pressing medical questions about the safety of fertility treatments.
Researchers from the University at Albany and the state Department of Health have recruited 6,500 babies and their mothers in upstate New York for one of the largest studies of its kind. The project, dubbed "Upstate Kids," will determine whether treatments for infertility cause developmental problems, including cerebral palsy, autism, blindness, hearing impairments and neurological deficits.
Researchers will also look at the effects of environmental exposures to substances such as PCBs, pesticides and Bisphenol-A.
"As a mother, I hope we will not find associations," said Erin Bell, an epidemiologist at UAlbany's School of Public Health and a principal researcher on Upstate Kids. "As a scientist, if we do, it gives us a clue about what we can do for interventions."
About a quarter of the babies in the study were conceived with the help of fertility treatments, and 75 percent of the higher-order births (triplets or higher) used in vitro fertilization.