Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The weeks and months after a baby is born are a critical time for the growth of the heart of premature babies. This is largely because they are faced with major blood flow changes and increased oxygen demands as they transition to the outside environment during a time where they would normally be developing inside their mother.

A lot of research has identified preterm birth (born before 37 weeks gestation) as a risk factor for developing early heart disease, including heart failure. Heart failure is when the heart can’t pump blood around your body as effectively as it should.

Several studies have shown that preterm birth is linked to abnormalities in the structure and function of their heart, yet the extent and evolution of these changes throughout development, from birth to adulthood, are not well defined. However, it’s important that they are defined as one in ten people worldwide are born preterm.

In our latest study, we performed a meta-analysis of data from published studies that compared the heart’s structure and function using echocardiography or cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging for people born preterm versus those born at term.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Dr Adam Lewandowski, Radcliffe Department of Medicine.

Oxford is a subscribing member of The ConversationFind out how you can write for The Conversation.

Similar stories

Nicola Smart to deliver John French Lecture

The British Atherosclerosis Society's John French Memorial Lecture is named in honour of the Oxford-based pathologist, Dr John French, who made seminal observations and contributions to the field of cardiovascular pathology.

Having a healthier heart associated with better problem-solving and reaction time

People with healthier heart structure and function appear to have better cognitive abilities, including increased capacity to solve logic problems and faster reaction times, according to a study involving University of Oxford and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) researchers.

Study provides new insights into causal mechanisms for atrial fibrillation

A large-scale genetic study, led by Oxford BHF researchers Dr Parag Gajendragadkar, clinical DPhil student, Professor Barbara Casadei and Professor Jemma Hopewell, has shed new light on common heart rhythm disturbances

Travels with Vignesh

Vignesh Murugesan, a Postdoctoral Researcher in Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics (DPAG), describes how he found his way from the large metropolitan town of Chennai in India to studying regenerative medicine here in Oxford, via an 8 year stint in Sweden.