Neonatology 2017 04 12112(1) 87-91 doi 10.1159/000464243
Adults born preterm are at risk of developing cardiovascular morbidities.
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.
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.
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.