Premature Birth May Raise Risk of Adult Heart Trouble
Posted by Neill Abayon
Adults who were premature babies may be at higher risk for heart problems, a small new study suggests.
Being born prematurely might be associated with important changes in how the heart forms and works during adulthood, the study authors said.
Researchers tracked 102 premature babies from birth into their 20s, and compared them to 132 people born at full term. They found that the right lower heart chamber in young adults who were born prematurely was smaller and heavier, and had thicker walls and less pumping capacity.
The more premature the birth, the greater the effect on right ventricle size and function, according to the study, which appears Aug. 12 in the journal Circulation.
"Up to 10 percent of today's young adults were born prematurely and some have an altered higher cardiovascular risk profile in adult life," study leader Paul Leeson, a cardiologist at the University of Oxford's Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility in England, said in a journal news release.