Investigating the effect of ethnicity on IVF outcome

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Success rates for IVF among women from different ethnic groups have been inconclusive. In this study, the relationship between ethnicity and IVF outcome was investigated. Results of a cohort study analysing 13,473 first cycles were compared with the results of meta-analysed data from 16 published studies. Adjustment was made for age, body-mass index, cause of infertility, duration of infertility, previous live birth, previous spontaneous abortion and number of embryos transferred. Black and South Asian women were found to have lower live birth rates compared with White women: Black versus White (OR 0.42 [0.25 to 0.70]; P = 0.001); South Asian versus White (OR 0.80 [0.65t o 0.99]; P = 0.04). Black women had significantly lower clinical pregnancy rates compared with White women (OR 0.41 [0.25 to 9 0.67]; P < 0.001). The meta-analysed results also showed that Black and South Asian women had statistically significant reduced odds of live birth (OR 0.62 [0.55 to 0.71); P < 0.001 and OR 0.66 [0.52 to 0.85); P = 0.001, respectively). Black and South Asian women seem to have the poorest outcome, which is not explained by the commonly known confounders. Future research needs to investigate the possible explanations for this difference and improve IVF outcome for all women.

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Copyright © 2015 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356–363
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number3
Early online date3 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • assisted conception, ethnicity, in-vitro fertilisation, race