Original Article

Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 509-516

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Very preterm birth is a risk factor for increased systolic blood pressure at a young adult age

  • Mandy G. Keijzer-VeenAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Nephrology, Erasmus MC - Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Rotterdam Email author 
  • , Arzu DülgerAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Nephrology, Erasmus MC - Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Rotterdam
  • , Friedo W. DekkerAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center
  • , Jeroen NautaAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Nephrology, Erasmus MC - Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Rotterdam
  • , Bert J. van der HeijdenAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Nephrology, Erasmus MC - Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Rotterdam

Abstract

Children born very prematurely who show intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) are suggested to be at risk of developing high blood pressure as adults. Renal function may already be impaired by young adult age. To study whether very preterm birth affects blood pressure in young adults, we measured 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (Spacelabs™ 90207 device) and renin concentration in 50 very premature individuals (<32 weeks of gestation), either small (SGA) or appropriate (AGA) for gestational age (21 SGA, 29 AGA), and 30 full-term controls who all were aged 20 years at time of measurement. The mean (standard deviation) daytime systolic blood pressure in SGA and AGA prematurely born individuals, respectively, was 122.7 (8.7) and 123.1 (8.5) mmHg. These values were, respectively, 3.6 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI) −0.9 to 8.0] and 4.2 mmHg (95% CI 0.4−8.0) higher than in controls [119.6 (7.6)]. Daytime diastolic blood pressure and nighttime blood pressure did not differ between groups. We conclude that individuals born very preterm have higher daytime systolic blood pressure and higher risk of hypertension at a young adult age.

Keywords

Hypertension Intrauterine growth retardation Premature birth Developmental origins of health and disease Ambulatory blood pressure monitor Blood pressure