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Preterm Infants may get High Blood Pressure as Adults

Nov
10

Date: November 10th, 2016

One research found out that the risk of high blood pressure was linked to kidneys that are smaller-than-normal at birth. A different study done within the same field arrived at the finding that high blood pressure and impaired cells had some form of association.

Dr. Anne Monique Nuyt, who co-authored both studies, studies said that these studies are a pointer of how vital it is to follow up the health of preterm babies. Anne is a University of Montreal professor working within the department of pediatrics.

However, as modern medicine continues to advance, more preterm infants born 30 years ago are surviving for longer than before. But considering that these preterm babies are only in their 30’s and 40’s thus making it hard to tell the status of their health in their 60’s and 70’s. The potential of health problems emerging at such an age is yet to be known.

But Nuyt explained that having smaller kidneys, higher blood pressure or failure of the blood vessels is not a direct pointer to a heart disease. These can only be considered as risk factors and cannot be a proof of cause-and-effect relationship.

Nuyt said “I don’t want to be alarmist. These young adults are carrying on their own lives — they’re working, getting married and having children. But we have to make sure they are well looked after.”

Presentation of the study

The study findings were presented at an American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Fla. Any finding presented at a meeting is a preliminary and will remain that way until publishing on a peer-reviewed journal.

According to the spokesman for the American Heart Association – Dr. Gregg Fonarow – past studies have shown that adults born as preterm infants had higher risks of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. He is also a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He explained that the research findings may be a pointer to how being preterm can lead to cardiovascular risk factors and in the process cause heart disease. That would call for a strict attention of the CPR for healthcare providers.

How was the study conducted?

While carrying out the study, Nuyt and his colleagues made a comparison between the size of kidneys and their functions in 40-year-old adults born 29 weeks or earlier of gestation. The average age of the volunteers was 24. Their blood pressure was measured.

The researchers found out that the kidneys of the participants born preterm were smaller relative to their body size. The opposite is true for those born full term. To top on to this, the blood pressure of the younger adults born prematurely was higher compared to that of their counterparts.

They also noted that the difference in their blood pressure was not large. However, this range was significant enough to point out the possibility of a heart disease occurring along the line.

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