Lower IVF Pregnancy Rates Widely Reported in Patients of African Origin May Be Consequence of Genetic Predisposition towards Autoimmunity
It has long been known that ivf success rates differ amongst different races/ethnic groups. This new study suggests that predisposition to autoimmune disease may be the cause for these differences.Despite general improvement in outcomes of fertility treatments, disparities between races/ethnicities have actually increased. Prevalence of infertility also differs in that African women experience infertility more frequently than Caucasians and Asians. Causes for these differences have remained largely unknown.
This new study, just published in the prestigious medical journal PLoS One (www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0018781), was conducted by the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) in New York, NY, and involved 339 Caucasian, Asian and African women. As previously widely reported in the medical literature, African patients demonstrated significantly lower IVF pregnancy rates, compared to Asian and Caucasian patients, even after controlling for age and BMI. African patients also demonstrated the highest rates of the recently described FMR1 (fragile X mental retardation) gene sub-genotype het-norm/low, which the same group of researchers previously reported to be statistically highly associated with autoimmunity. Asian women, with lowest prevalence of het-norm/low experienced the highest pregnancy rates after IVF.