Comparison of Blood Pressure and Kidney Markers between Adolescent Former Preterm Infants and Term Controls

Children (Basel). 2020 Sep 17;7(9):141. doi: 10.3390/children7090141.


Background: Preterm infants are at an increased risk of developing hypertension and chronic kidney disease later in life. No recommendations exist for blood pressure (BP) and renal follow up for these patients.

Aim: To compare BP and serum and urinary kidney markers between preterm-born adolescents and term-born controls.

Methods: BP measurements in 51 preterm-born (≤32 weeks gestational age) and 82 term-born adolescents at the age of 10-15 years were conducted. Stepwise regression analysis explored the association between BP and participant characteristics. Kidney markers measured in the serum and urine were creatinine, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), and uromodulin. Kidney markers measured in the serum were cystatin C, beta-2 microglobulin, and beta trace protein.

Results: Systolic BP was significantly higher in preterm boys compared with term boys, but not in girls, and low birth weight was associated with higher BP in boys. In the preterm group, maternal hypertension/preeclampsia and adolescent height were associated with higher systolic BP. Serum creatinine and NGAL were significantly higher in the preterm group.

Conclusions: Our study confirms an inverse sex-dependant relationship between birth weight and BP at adolescent age. The higher serum creatinine and NGAL in the preterm group may indicate that premature birth affects kidney function in the long term.

Keywords: adolescent; follow-up studies; hypertension; kidney; prematurity.