Importance The extent to which assisted reproductive technology is associated with increased risk of congenital heart defects independent of its known association with twinning remains uncertain. Objective To assess the extent to which assisted pregnancy is associated with increased risk of congenital heart defects independent of its known association with twinning. Design, Setting, and Participants This retrospective cohort study linked records of congenital heart defect diagnoses with assisted reproductive technology cycles in 507 390 singleton or twin pregnancies (10 149 assisted pregnancies and 497 241 nonassisted pregnancies), including singleton and twin early pregnancy losses, stillbirths, and live births (follow-up to 1 year of age) in Ontario, Canada, between April 1, 2012, and October 31, 2015. Statistical analysis was performed from January 1, 2017, to September 9, 2019. Exposures Assisted reproductive technology and its 2 subtypes: intracytoplasmic sperm injection and in vitro fertilization without intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Main Outcomes and Measures The main outcome was congenital heart defects (prevalence and relative risk measured as odds ratios [ORs]). Mediation analysis was performed to assess the extent to which the association between assisted reproductive technology and congenital heart defects was mediated by twinning. Results Of 507 390 mother-infant pairs with singleton or twin pregnancies evaluated, the prevalence of congenital heart defects in assisted pregnancies (223 [2.2%]) was higher than that in nonassisted pregnancies (6057 [1.2%]; crude OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.59-2.09). The strength of the association between assisted pregnancy and congenital heart defects decreased after adjusting for several risk factors simultaneously (adjusted OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.48-1.95). Further mediation analysis indicated that most of the association between assisted pregnancy and congenital heart defects was mediated by twinning (adjusted OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.44-1.92), and the natural direct association of assisted pregnancy with congenital heart defects among singleton pregnancies was 1.09 (95% CI, 0.93-1.25). Mediation of twinning accounted for 87.3% of the association. Conclusions and Relevance Our study results suggest that the association between assisted reproductive technology and congenital heart defects may be mediated by twinning.
Importance Fine particles (particulate matter 2.5 mu m [PM2.5]), a ubiquitous air pollutant, can deposit in the small airways that play a vital role in asthma. It appears to be unknown whether the use of a PM2.5 filtration device can improve small airway physiology and respiratory inflammation in children with asthma. Objective To discover what pathophysiological changes in the small airways are associated with using a PM2.5-removing device in the bedrooms of children with asthma. Design, Setting, and Participants Children with mild or moderate asthma were enrolled in this double-blind, crossover study. The participants used a true filtration device and a sham filtration device in their bedrooms in a random order for 2 weeks each with a 2-week washout interval. The study was conducted in a suburb of Shanghai, China, during a low-ozone season. Exposures Ozone and PM2.5 were measured inside bedrooms and outside a window. Main Outcomes and Measures Impulse oscillometry, spirometry, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide were measured at the beginning and the end of each intervention. Peak expiratory flow was measured twice daily at home. Results Forty-three children (5-13 years old; 26 boys [60%]) participated. Outdoor 24-hour mean PM2.5 concentrations were moderately high, ranging from 28.6 to 69.8 mu g/m(3) (median, 53 mu g/m(3)). During true filtration, bedroom PM2.5 concentrations were a mean (SD) of 63.4% (35.9%) lower than during sham filtration. Compared with sham filtration, true filtration was significantly associated with improved airway mechanics, reflected in a 24.4% (95% CI, 11.8%-37.1%) reduction in total airway resistance, a 43.5% (95% CI, 13.7%-73.3%) reduction in small airway resistance, a 22.2% (95% CI, 2.2%-42.2%) reduction in resonant frequency, and a 73.1% (95% CI, 0.3%-145.8%) increase in airway reactance. True filtration was also associated with significant improvements in fractional exhaled nitric oxide (a 27.6% [95% CI, 8.9%-42.4%] reduction) and peak expiratory flow (a 1.6% [95% CI, 0.8%-2.5%] increase). These improvements were significantly associated with bedroom PM2.5 reduction. Improvements in small airway function were nonsignificant (8.4% [95% CI, -1.4% to 18.3%]) in all participants but significant (13.2% [95% CI, 1.2%-25.1%]) in participants without eosinophilic airway inflammation at baseline. No improvements were observed for forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume during the first second, and the ratio of these in all participants or subgroups. Conclusions and Relevance Per these results, indoor PM2.5 filtration can be a practical method to improve air flow in an asthmatic lung through improved airway mechanics and function as well as reduced inflammation. This warrants a clinical trial to confirm.
This cohort study examines medical records of 33 neonates born to women with COVID-19 to provide information on maternal-child transmission and infant outcomes.