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Importance: Preterm-born individuals have higher blood pressure with an increased risk of hypertension by young adulthood, as well as potentially adverse cardiac remodeling even when normotensive. To what extent blood pressure elevation affects left ventricular (LV) structure and function in adults born preterm is currently unknown. Objective: To investigate whether changes observed in LV structure and function in preterm-born adults make them more susceptible to cardiac remodeling in association with blood pressure elevation. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional cohort study, conducted at the Oxford Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility and Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research, included 468 adults aged 18 to 40 years. Of these, 200 were born preterm (<37 weeks' gestation) and 268 were born at term (≥37 weeks' gestation). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was used to characterize LV structure and function, with clinical blood pressure readings measured to assess hypertension status. Demographic and anthropometric data, as well as birth history and family medical history information, were collected. Data were analyzed between January 2012 and February 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cardiac magnetic resonance measures of LV structure and function in response to systolic blood pressure elevation. Results: The cohort was primarily White (>95%) with a balanced sex distribution (51.5% women and 48.5% men). Preterm-born adults with and without hypertension had higher LV mass index, reduced LV function, and smaller LV volumes compared with term-born individuals both with and without hypertension. In regression analyses of systolic blood pressure with LV mass index and LV mass to end-diastolic volume ratio, there was a leftward shift in the slopes in preterm-born compared with term-born adults. Compared with term-born adults, there was a 2.5-fold greater LV mass index per 1-mm Hg elevation in systolic blood pressure in very and extremely preterm-born adults (<32 weeks' gestation) (0.394 g/m2 vs 0.157 g/m2 per 1 mm Hg; P 

Original publication




Journal article


JAMA Cardiol

Publication Date





821 - 829


Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Heart, Humans, Hypertension, Infant, Extremely Premature, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Premature Birth, Risk Factors, Ventricular Remodeling