Increased Aortic Intima-Media Thickness Is Related to Lipid Profile in Newborns with Intrauterine Growth Restriction
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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Low birth-weight is known to be associated with an increase in cardiovascular risk similar to that seen with major environmental risk factors, such as cigarette smoking or hypertension. Much epidemiological evidence has linked low birth-weight with hypertriglyceridaemia. METHOD: We measured aortic wall thickness by ultrasonography and lipid profile in 40 newborn babies with intrauterine growth restriction and 40 controls. RESULTS: Maximum and mean aortic intima-media thickness were significantly higher in the babies with intrauterine growth retardation (0.58 +/- 0.06, 0.52 +/- 0.03 mm, respectively) than in controls (0.44 +/- 0.05, 0.40 +/- 0.03 mm, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, respectively), more so after adjustment for birth-weight (maximum intima-media thickness: 0.23 +/- 0.03 mm/kg vs. 0.12 +/- 0.02 mm/kg, p < 0.0001; mean intima-media thickness: 0.21 +/- 0.02 mm/kg vs. 0.11 +/- 0.01 mm/kg, p < 0.0001). Serum triglyceride levels were significantly higher in the intrauterine growth retardation group (48.9 +/- 14.8 mg/dl) compared with the control group (32.5 +/- 9.8 mg/dl, p < 0.0001). The mean body mass index, prepregnancy weight, weight gain during pregnancy, maternal LDL cholesterol level and, height of the mothers were significantly lower in the intrauterine growth retardation group compared with the control group. For maximum aIMT, significant associations included the ponderal index (p = <0.01), length (p = 0.01) and serum triglyceride levels of infants (p = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Newborn babies with growth restriction have significant maximum aortic thickening with hypertriglyceridaemia, suggesting that prenatal events might predispose to later cardiovascular risk.
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