Prematurity of infants has been associated with an increased risk of kidney failure later in life.
Premature births are important risk factors for the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adulthood, according to a Swedish study published today by BMJ.
High rates of premature birth (currently 10% in the United States and 5-8% in Europe) and improved infant survival have created a new category of population with specific biological characteristics.
Formation of nephrons
Premature birth interrupts the development of the kidneys in late pregnancy, resulting in a lack of nephron formation, which filters out waste and toxins from the body. On the strength of these elements, the researchers recorded more than 4 million births in Sweden between 1973 and 2014. Cases of chronic kidney disease were then identified until 2015, with cohort members now in their 40s.
As a result, premature births (less than 37 weeks) were associated with an almost twice as high risk of CKD in adulthood. Extremely premature births (less than 28 weeks) were linked to a three-fold higher risk of CKD in adulthood.
These associations affected both men and women and did not appear to be related to common genetic or environmental factors in families. People born prematurely "need long-term follow-up to preserve their renal function throughout their life," conclude the authors of the research.
Chronic renal disease, or chronic renal failure, is a decrease in the functioning of the kidneys that no longer properly filter the blood of the body. The main causes are diabetes and high blood pressure.
A long silent illness
Chronic renal disease is a long-term, slowly progressive disease that does not regress. Its natural evolution is more or less slow but can go until the total loss of the renal function. This is referred to as end-stage renal failure requiring dialysis and / or kidney transplant replacement therapy. It is possible to slow down this evolution by avoiding or treating all the factors that can aggravate it.