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Preemie female babies risk difficult pregnancies later on: study

Written by: Brian Daly, QMI Agency
Jan. 24, 2013

(File Photo)


MONTREAL - Females born premature are at greater risk of developing one of three common pregnancy complications, a study indicates.

University of Montreal researchers noted increased cases of diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia among females who were born pre-term.

Preeclampsia sends a pregnant woman's blood pressure skyrocketing during pregnancy.

The three complications were logged among more than 7,400 women flagged as premature babies in Quebec's statistical database.

The study's author, Dr. Anne Monique Nuyt, tells QMI Agency that the data could be of use to doctors and patients.

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"It's a good thing to know ... that a risk may might be increased," said Dr. Nuyt, whose paper appeared in the November issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"(Doctors) might tighten followup or make sure that followup is well done."

Females born at least two months premature were nearly twice as likely as others to develop the complications.

Risks were also elevated for those born at term but with a low birth weight.

It's too early to say that being born premature causes the complications but Nuyt says being pre-term can have lifelong effects.

"Vascular development is a little different," she said. "Is their insulin sensitivity a little bit changed by the premature birth? These are possibilities."

She adds that Canadian females born premature need not worry.

"Any pregnancy that's followed in our society is systematically screened for those complications," she said.

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