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Cad Saude Publica. 2011 Feb;27(2):207-18.

[Preterm birth as a risk factor for high blood pressure in children: a systematic review].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Programa de Pós-graduação em Saúde Coletiva, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brazil.


Epidemiological studies have suggested that arterial hypertension is a chronic disease that begins in childhood, and that prematurity (birth at less than 37 weeks' gestational age) is potentially associated with the development of hypertension in childhood and adulthood. Our objective was to identify the association between prematurity and high blood pressure in children, using a systematic literature review. Original articles related to the theme and published in English, Portuguese, or Spanish from 1998 to 2009 were selected from the MEDLINE, LILACS, and SciELO databases. We excluded articles without abstracts, review articles, and articles not related to prematurity and hypertension in childhood. Nine articles were located and analyzed: 5 case-control studies, 2 cross-sectional studies, and 2 cohort studies. The majority of the studies failed to show an association between prematurity and arterial hypertension in childhood. However, the influence of prematurity should not be ruled out, given the small number of studies on this theme and the diversity of methodological approaches in the literature.

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