A new study has revealed babies born at less than 37 weeks have an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease later in life.
The study published in the BMJ found at that 37 weeks, the kidneys are not fully developed as fetal nephrogenesis (formation of nephrons – the basic unit that form the kidney) is only complete during the third trimester.
Interruption of this process results in a lower nephron development which is associated with higher risks of hypertension and progressive kidney disease later in life.
“Although the absolute risks are low, people who are born prematurely still have increased susceptibility to kidney disease,” said the lead author, Dr. Casey Crump, a professor of family medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“These findings show that people born prematurely need long-term monitoring, and must be particularly careful to try to avoid hypertension, diabetes and the heavy use of anti-inflammatory medicines, which are all risk factors for kidney disease,” he added.
Below are some causes that can lead to premature birth
Stress is a common occurrence experienced by mothers during pregnancy . This can led to lack of enough sleep. However, prolonged high level of stress may cause some health problems like high blood pressure and heart diseases . If not prevented it may led to premature birth or giving birth to an underweight baby.
Pregnant mothers who smoke risk premature birth. Nicotine a substance found in the cigarette causes blood vessels in the uterus constrict which prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting to the infant hence leading to premature birth.
Short time between pregnancies
Research has it that women who space their pregnancies in less than six months increase their risk of giving birth to preemies.
Poor nutrition before and during pregnancy
Lack of nutrients accounts for 40 per cent of premature births. It is also worth noting that women suffering from anorexia tend to give birth to underweight babies even after a full-term pregnancy.