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Retinopathy of Prematurity Is Associated with Increased Systolic Blood Pressure in Adults Who Were Born Preterm

Journal article
Authors Anna Kistner
L. Jacobson
J. Ostergren
Ann Hellström
Published in Neonatology
Volume 112
Issue 1
Pages 87-91
ISSN 1661-7800
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 87-91
Language en
Keywords Preterm, Retinopathy of prematurity, Blood pressure, Salivary cortisol, BIRTH, CHILDREN
Subject categories Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems, Pediatrics


Background: Adults born preterm are at risk of developing cardiovascular morbidities. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and blood pressure (BP) and salivary cortisol levels during adulthood. Methods: Sixty-nine subjects (mean age 22.6 years) were included. Subjects were adults who were: (a) ex-preterm infants with severe ROP (n = 22), born at gestational age (GA) < 30 weeks with a birth weight (BW) < 1,000 g, (b) ex-preterm infants with no/mild ROP (n = 21), born at GA < 28 weeks with a BW < 1,000 g, or (c) full-term controls (n = 26). Anthropometric data, office BP, ambulatory BP, and morning and evening salivary cortisol were analyzed. Results: As adults, ex-preterm infants with severe ROP had on average 7.4 mm Hg higher systolic office BP than those with no/mild ROP (p = 0.019) and controls (p = 0.007). A high cortisol level, tall height, and severe ROP were independent predictors of higher ambulatory systolic BP during adulthood in forward stepwise regression analysis, independent of GA. Conclusion: Our results indicate that preterm infants with severe abnormal retinal vascular development during the neonatal period may be at an increased risk for increased BP during adulthood. We found no differences between those with no/mild ROP as infants and controls with regard to BP data. (C) 2017 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

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