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Hypertension. 2006 Jul;48(1):45-50. Epub 2006 May 8.

Effects of low birth weight in 8- to 13-year-old children: implications in endothelial function and uric acid levels.

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  • 1Division of NephrologyFederal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Low birth weight has been associated with an increased incidence of adult cardiovascular disease. Endothelial dysfunction and high levels of serum uric acid are associated with hypertension. In this study, we have determined whether uric acid is related to blood pressure and vascular function in children with low birth weight. We evaluated vascular function using high-resolution ultrasound, blood pressure, and uric acid levels in 78 children (35 girls, 43 boys, aged 8 to 13 years). Increasing levels of uric acid and systolic blood pressure were observed in children with low birth weight. Birth weight was inversely associated with both systolic blood pressure and uric acid; on the other hand, uric acid levels were directly correlated with systolic blood pressure in children of the entire cohort. Low birth weight was associated with reduced flow-mediated dilation (r=0.427, P<0.001). Because the children with low birth weight had elevated uric acid as well as higher systolic blood pressure levels, we evaluated the correlation between these variables. In the low birth weight group, multiple regression analysis revealed that uric acid (beta=-2.886; SE=1.393; P=0.040) had a graded inverse relationship with flow-mediated dilation, which was not affected in a model adjusting for race and gender. We conclude that children with a history of low birth weight show impaired endothelial function and increased blood pressure and uric acid levels. These findings may be early expressions of vascular compromise, contributing to susceptibility to disease in adult life.

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