Preterm birth linked to components of metabolic syndrome in adulthood
Preterm birth is associated with the risk of metabolic syndrome components and cardiovascular disease in adult life, a recent meta-analysis has found.
Applying the selection criteria resulted in 43 studies eligible for analysis. The overall sample included 18,295 adults born preterm (mean age, 19.4±5.1 years; 16,119 males) and 294,063 born term (284,788 males). Among the outcomes assessed were body mass index, fat mass, waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure (BP), pulse wave velocity, fating glucose and insulin, and lipid profile.
The percentage of fat mass was significantly higher in adults born premature, both in random (mean difference, 1.5 percent, 95 percent CI, 0.1–2.8; p=0.03) and fixed (mean difference, 1.2 percent, 0.3–2.1 percent; p=0.009) effect models. Body mass index, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio were comparable between birth groups.
Systolic (SBP; random mean difference, 4.2 mm Hg, 3.0–5.5; p<0.0001) and diastolic (DBP; random mean difference, 2.3 mm Hg, 1.2–3.3; p<0.0001) BP were also significantly elevated in those who were born premature. The same was true for 24-hour SBP (random mean difference, 4.6 mm Hg, 2.0–7.2; p<0.001) and DBP (random mean difference, 1.7 mm Hg, 0.9–2.5; p<0.001).
Fasting glucose in both random (mean difference, 0.07 mmol/L, 0.02–0.1; p=0.01) and fixed (mean difference, 0.06 mmol/L, 0.02–0.1; p=0.008) models, as well as fasting total cholesterol (random mean difference, 0.2 mmol/L, 0.0–0.3; p=0.05; fixed mean difference, 0.2 mmol/L, 0.04–0.3; p=0.008) were similarly higher in those preterm. Fasting insulin achieved significance only in random effects model.
There were no significant between-group differences in terms of fasting high- and low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, carotid intima-media thickness, flow mediated dilation, and pulse wave velocity.