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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2011 Oct;50(10):936-42. doi: 10.1177/0009922811409918. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Can we predict hypertension among preterm children?

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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX, USA.


Prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) cause hypertension (HTN), ischemic heart disease, and obesity in young adults. The objective of the study was to identify risk factors for the development of HTN in children born preterm or at a LBW and to assess pediatricians' awareness of the problem. A retrospective review of 160 cases was conducted. In total, 22% of babies born preterm/LBW developed HTN by age 15 years. The odds of developing HTN were 1.6 times greater for every one standard deviation increase in body mass index. Higher risk posses for those born small for gestational age and under 1000 g. Of the 35 cases of HTN identified, only 31% were recognized as abnormal by the primary care providers. The development of obesity and HTN appear related in preterm/LBW children. Awareness of prematurity or LBW as a risk factor for HTN should be raised among pediatric primary care providers.

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