Preterm birth and systolic hypertension in later life

A systematic review was conducted of observational studies that reported blood pressure readings and frequency of hypertension in children and young adults who were born prematurely or with very low birth weight, compared to those born at term. Former preterm or very low birth weight children had a higher (by approximately 2 – 4 mm)┬ámean systolic blood pressure ┬áthan those born at term. From a population perspective, the systolic blood pressure difference noted in this study is similar to the increase associated with excessive intake of dietary sodium.

Systematic review of preterm birth and later systolic blood pressure. de Jong et al 2012.