Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 137–144 | Cite as

Renal function and blood pressure are altered in adolescents born preterm

  • Andrew M. SouthEmail author
  • Patricia A. Nixon
  • Mark C. Chappell
  • Debra I. Diz
  • Gregory B. Russell
  • Elizabeth T. Jensen
  • Hossam A. Shaltout
  • T. Michael O’Shea
  • Lisa K. Washburn
Original Article



Preterm birth increases the risk of hypertension and kidney disease. However, it is unclear when changes in blood pressure (BP) and renal function become apparent and what role obesity and sex play. We hypothesized adolescents born preterm have higher BP and worse kidney function compared to term in an obesity- and sex-dependent manner.


Cross-sectional analysis of 14-year-olds born preterm with very low birth weight (n = 96) compared to term (n = 43). We used generalized linear models to estimate the associations among preterm birth and BP, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and ln (x) urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), stratified by overweight/obesity (OWO, body mass index (BMI) ≥ 85th percentile) and sex.


Compared to term, preterm-born adolescents had higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (adjusted β (aβ) 3.5 mmHg, 95% CI − 0.1 to 7.2 and 3.6 mmHg, 95% CI 0.1 to 7.0), lower eGFR (β − 8.2 mL/min/1.73 m2, 95% CI − 15.9 to − 0.4), and higher ACR (aβ 0.34, 95% CI − 0.04 to 0.72). OWO modified the preterm-term difference in DBP (BMI < 85th percentile aβ 5.0 mmHg, 95% CI 0.7 to 9.2 vs. OWO 0.2 mmHg, 95% CI − 5.3 to 5.6) and ACR (OWO aβ 0.72, 95% CI 0.15 to 1.29 vs. BMI < 85th percentile 0.17, 95% CI − 0.31 to 0.65). Sex modified the preterm-term ACR difference (female aβ 0.52, 95% CI 0.001 to 1.04 vs. male 0.18, 95% CI − 0.36 to 0.72).


Prematurity was associated with higher BP and reduced renal function that were detectable in adolescence. OWO and sex may modify the strength of these relationships.


Chronic kidney disease Hypertension Obesity Programming Sex differences Very low birth weight 



We would like to thank the participants and their families, Patricia Brown, RN, research nurse, and Alice Scott, RN, research study coordinator. Patricia Brown and Alice Scott have no conflicts of interest.


This study is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P01 HD047584; HD084227), the American Heart Association (AHA 14GRNT20480131), the Clinical Research Unit of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (MCRR/NIH M01-RR07122), the Wake Forest Clinical and Translational Science Award (NIH UL1 TR001420), and Forsyth Medical Center and Wake Forest School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics research funds.

Compliance with ethical standards

The Wake Forest School of Medicine and Forsyth Medical Center Institutional Review Boards approved the study. Parents or legal guardians provided written informed consent, and participants provided assent.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew M. South
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Patricia A. Nixon
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mark C. Chappell
    • 2
    • 5
  • Debra I. Diz
    • 2
    • 5
  • Gregory B. Russell
    • 6
  • Elizabeth T. Jensen
    • 3
  • Hossam A. Shaltout
    • 2
    • 7
    • 8
  • T. Michael O’Shea
    • 9
  • Lisa K. Washburn
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.Cardiovascular Sciences CenterWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  3. 3.Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and PreventionWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health and Exercise ScienceWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  5. 5.Department of Surgery-Hypertension and Vascular ResearchWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  6. 6.Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistical SciencesWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  7. 7.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  8. 8.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of PharmacyUniversity of AlexandriaAlexandriaEgypt
  9. 9.Department of PediatricsUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA

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