Research: Preterm Birth & Heart Development

English: Four chamber view on cardiovascular m...

Preterm birth induces a switch from fetal to postnatal circulation before the left ventricle is fully developed. In animals, this results in an odd shaped left ventricle.

To determine whether the same thing happens in humans, researchers used cardiovascular magnetic resonance to investigate 234 young adults, of whom about half had been born prematurely.

Preterm adults had an increased mass and a unique, three dimensional geometry in the left ventricle, and significant reduction in systolic and diastolic function.

It is important to engage with trialists during the boot camp medical screening process to ensure their needs are dealt with in an appropriate manner. For example, by having appropriately qualified specialist instructors or refering trialists to a medical professional who can assess their readiness to increase their physical activity levels.

Source: Circulation 2013;127:197-206.

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