The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that the overall cancer rate per 1,000,000 children of IVF children was about 17 per cent higher than for non-IVF children.

Children conceived through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be at an increased risk of cancer, according to the largest study of its kind.

Scientists from the University of Minnesota in the US used data of 275,686 IVF children and 2,266,847 naturally conceived children.

Two hands on green background with embryo in center.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that the overall cancer rate per 1,000,000 children of IVF children was about 17 per cent higher than for non-IVF children.

However, the rates of other specific cancers did not differ between the two groups, and no associations of childhood cancer with specific IVF treatment techniques.

“The most important takeaway from our research is that most childhood cancers are not more frequent in children conceived by IVF,” said Logan Spector, a professor at University of Minnesota.

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