Nav: Home

People born very preterm or with very low birthweight have high risk of lung disease

May 28, 2019

A global study shows people born very preterm or with very low birthweight have a high risk of lung disease and are not reaching their full airway capacity by early adulthood.

The research found those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy or with a birthweight of less than 1501g are four times more likely to have airflow in worrying clinical ranges in early adulthood than those born on time.

The international study*, published in the latest edition of The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, was led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, the Royal Woman's Hospital and the University of Melbourne, with collaborators from Norway, Finland, the UK, and The Netherlands.

The research sourced data from 11 studies involving 935 participants who were born very preterm or with very low birthweight and 722 who were born at full term. All were aged between 16 and 33.

Lead researcher Professor Lex Doyle said many people born very preterm or with very low birthweight will develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which blocks airflow and makes it difficult to breathe.

Professor Doyle said the likelihood was even higher if they had bronchopulmonary dysplasia - a form of lung injury that affects newborn babies, - or were exposed to tobacco smoke or other pollutants.

"The reductions in their airflow capacity in adolescence and early adulthood were substantial and a significantly higher proportion had expiratory flow rates (exhaling speed) in concerning clinical ranges compared with those born on time," he said.

Professor Doyle said babies born very preterm or with very low birthweight often required help with breathing problems after birth, such as assisted ventilation or oxygen treatment, and many would develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

"They go onto have reduced airflow through childhood compared with children born on time or of normal birthweight," he said.

However, it wasn't clear until now whether they were reaching the expected peak of lung growth in their early 20s.

"As they are now surviving in large numbers with modern obstetric and neonatal care, it's important to study their breathing ability in adulthood."

Professor Doyle said general practitioners or specialist physicians should be aware that their adult patients born very preterm or with very low birthweight, particularly those who had bronchopulmonary dysplasia, were more likely to present with respiratory problems than those born at term.

"Physicians should obtain a perinatal history, including gestational age at birth, birthweight, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, when assessing adults with airway disease," he said.
-end-


University of Melbourne

Related Lung Disease Articles:

New hope for patients with severe lung disease
Patients suffering from severe lung disease could see their lives transformed thanks to a 'game-changing' clinical trial carried out by UK experts and led by the team from the Lane Fox Respiratory Service based at Guy's and St Thomas' in London.
Some lung cancer patients benefit from immunotherapy even after disease progression
Some advanced lung cancer patients benefit from immunotherapy even after the disease has progressed as evaluated by standard criteria, according to research presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC).
New gene linked to inherited lung disease via disrupted telomerase
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a new disease gene that, when mutated, appears to increase the risk in a small number of people of developing emphysema and a lung-scarring condition known as pulmonary fibrosis.
Research to improve treatment for millions of lung disease patients
New lung scanning technology developed at Monash University has the potential to transform treatment for millions of people with lung disease in Australia and around the world.
Discovery of infants' airway microbiomes may help predict lung disease
In contrast to the general belief that the airways of an infant are sterile until after birth, researchers have found that the infant airway is already colonized with bacteria when a baby is born -- and this is true for infants born as early as 24 weeks gestation.
More Lung Disease News and Lung Disease Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...