INTRODUCTION: Current literature indicates a high incidence of cardiovascular disease in later life of premature infants with low birth weight.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate serum lipid levels of prematurely born infants up to the age of 3 years.
METHODS: From 2001 to 2005, 171 premature newborns were studied in the follow-up clinic. Patients were divided into 4 groups according to gestational age (≤30 and >30 weeks) and birth weight (≤1000 and >1000 g). Serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein were recorded at 12, 24, and 36 months of life.
RESULTS: Cholesterol levels were within the reference range in every given period, independent of age. Infants with low birth weight (≤1000 g) had significantly increased cholesterol levels compared with those with higher birth weight (>1000 g) (P = .013). All groups had significantly higher serum triglyceride levels (P = .001) during the first year of life in comparison to all other periods. In addition, infants with low birth weight had significantly higher serum triglyceride levels (P = .015) during the second year of life than infants with higher birth weight.
CONCLUSIONS: Premature infants with low birth weight have increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels during the early years of life, which is a finding that might be related to a high incidence of atherogenesis in later life and requires additional investigation.
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics