May 05, 2010
1 min read

Prematurity, maternal hypertension associated with adverse cardiometabolic profile in adolescence

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Very low birth weight infants born prematurely to mothers who experienced hypertension during pregnancy were more likely to have certain cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescence, study results suggested.

Lisa K. Washburn, MD, of the department of pediatrics at the Wake Forest University Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues measured percent body, serum ultrasensitive C-reactive protein levels, HDL, and uric acid in 119 adolescents (aged 14 years) who were prematurely with very low birth weight between 1992 and 1995. Results were presented at the 2010 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.

The researchers determined that 32% of participants had been exposed to maternal hypertension, defined as either chronic hypertension, pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia. Participants who were exposed generally had higher gestational age (29 vs. 27.1 weeks; P<.001), lower fetal growth ratio (0.84 vs. 1.01; P<.001), and were more likely to be white and exposed to antenatal steroids.

After adjusting for possible confounding factors using multiple regression models, the researchers determined that adolescents that were exposed to maternal hypertension had higher abdominal circumference (87.3 vs. 77.6 cm; P=0.008), BMI (25.5 vs. 22.0 kgm-2; P=0.01), percent body fat (29.2 vs. 23.5 %; P= 0.006), CRP (0.245 vs. 0.068 mg/dl; P=0.0008), and uric acid (5.8 vs. 5.2 mg/dl; P=0.02).

Maternal hypertension did not appear to have any effect on adolescent resting BP or HDL levels.

“Among offspring born prematurely with very low-birth weight, exposure to maternal hypertension during pregnancy is associated with an adverse cardiometabolic risk profile in adolescence,” Washburn said. – by Nicole Blazek

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