The other day, a report unraveled a link between autism and low birth weight. This analysis by scientists from Imperial College London has revealed that premature babies apparently stand a risk of bad health at later stage of their life.
The study constituted 23 healthy men and women who were born before 33 weeks and 25 other individuals who were born after the complete term. The former group seemingly had elevated blood pressure and more fat deposits in the muscle and liver.
These changes are associated with diabetes and other heart conditions. The differences of fat were more noticeable in men. However, the biological pathways involved in the long-term health of preterm infants are not yet clear.
“This was only a small study but the differences we found were quite striking. The results suggest that we need to monitor the health of premature babies beyond infancy and childhood. Preterm men and women might be at greater risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases but if we look out for the warning signs, we can help them to stay healthy with lifestyle interventions, and treatment where appropriate,” shared Professor Neena Modi, the lead investigator in the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London.
Utilizing whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and modern chemical profiling methods, the team set to examine the biological differences in adolescents who had a premature birth. The results showed that the subjects did not seemingly have high BMI, but they had more fat tissues near the abdomen, muscle and liver.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy disclosed specific differences in the chemical composition of the urine of the participants too. The analysts reported the presence of more metabolites related to inflammation in the urine. The findings call for an immediate solution by means of monitoring preterm babies as they reach adulthood for early detection of diseases.
The study is published in the journal, Pediatric Research.