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Birth weight and arterial hypertension

Bruno, Rosa Mariaa; Faconti, Lucab; Taddei, Stefanob; Ghiadoni, Lorenzob

Current Opinion in Cardiology: July 2015 - Volume 30 - Issue 4 - p 398–402
doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000180
HYPERTENSION: Edited by Franz H. Messerli and Stefano F. Rimoldi

Purpose of review To provide an overview of available evidence of the relationship between birth weight and future hypertension development.

Recent findings Fetal programming plays a significant role in future hypertension. Both low and high birth weight are able to influence weight gain during childhood, adult weight and blood pressure values during childhood and adulthood. To date, an increasing amount of evidence is available especially for the relationship between low birth weight and hypertension, supported also by pathophysiological studies.

Summary In the era of personalized medicine, the possibility to reduce cardiovascular risk before or soon after birth and intervene on risk factors during childhood is appealing and promising for the future.

aInstitute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council

bDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Correspondence to Lorenzo Ghiadoni, MD, PhD, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa, Italy. E-mail:

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