Navigation Links
Preemies' Low Blood Pressure Linked to SIDS

Preterm infants already at higher risk for SIDS and this may be why, researchers say

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Premature infants often have lower-than-normal blood pressure that persists during the first six months of life and may be one reason these infants are more prone to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), Australian researchers suggest.

One theory of the cause of SIDS is a profound drop in blood pressure during sleep, from which the infant cannot recover.

"Premature babies are at increased risk for SIDS, and we investigated a possible mechanism of how these babies could be at increased risk," explained lead researcher Rosemary S.C. Horne, of the Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research at the Monash Institute of Medical Research at Monash University in Melbourne.

For the study, Horne's team monitored the heart rates of 25 premature infants, comparing them with 20 infants born at term. The researchers looked at the infants' blood pressure at two to four weeks, two to three months, and five to six months.

They found that preterm infants had lower blood pressure during sleep compared with normal-term infants. This was true during all the periods the blood pressure was measured.

Systolic blood pressures in preterm infants were 11 mm Hg to 14 mm Hg lower than in full-term infants, Horne said. "This may be clinically significant," she noted.

"We hypothesize that if blood pressure is already low in preterm babies, then if there was an event during sleep that made it fall even further they may be at risk of a profound drop in blood pressure," Horne said.

"In addition, this may explain the risk of preterm babies having an increased risk of SIDS and it may also indicate that these preterm babies, although they appear well and healthy, may have long-term alterations in their cardiovascular control," she said.

The findings were published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. Warren G. Guntheroth, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, doesn't think low blood pressure is a cause of SIDS. He believes the trouble lies with breathing problems.

"I do not believe there is enough evidence that control of blood pressure is inadequate just because the systolic pressure in preemies is lower than average," Guntheroth said. "This may well be because they are small."

Preemies do have pulmonary problems, of course, and it's likely that this accounts for an increase in SIDS, Guntheroth said. "The pulmonary problems may induce a degree of low oxygen that can increase the frequency of apnea with bradycardia, but that is a very basic response that does not indicate an immaturity of control of the cardiovascular system," he said.

Another SIDS expert also said it's not known whether low blood pressure increases the risk of SIDS.

"The unresolved question is whether these differences in blood pressure have any relevance for the increased risk for SIDS that preterms have -- that's unclear," said Dr. Carl E. Hunt, an adjunct professor of pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda, Md.

"The extent to which the inability to recover normal blood pressure is a precipitating event for SIDS, we have no idea," said Hunt, who's also a director at the American SIDS Institute. "It's difficult to prove and it has not been proven."

More information

For more on SIDS, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Rosemary S.C. Horne, Ph.D., Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Warren G. Guntheroth, M.D., professor, pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; Carl E. Hunt, M.D., adjunct professor, pediatrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md., and member, board of directors, American SIDS Institute; December 2008 Pediatrics

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Caffeine Therapy Boosts Preemies Outcomes
2. Tel Aviv University gives preemies a fighting chance
3. Epsom Salt Cut Cerebral Palsy Rate in Half Among Preemies
4. Steroid treatment offers no benefit in preemies, Hopkins Childrens study suggests
5. Drugs to Treat Lung Damage in Preemies May Harm Brain
6. Specific antagonism lowers blood pressure
7. Restricting Blood Flow May Help Heart Bypass Patients
8. FDA Updates Prescription Guidelines for Blood Thinner
9. Doctors Often Miss High Blood Pressure in Kids
10. Back to School Means Return of School Blood Drives
11. Blood-flow detector software show promise in preventing brain damage
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... for Final Cut Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole ... artistically," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts ... applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention ... health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone ... physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If ... at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening ... industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, ... ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing aid that ...      (Photo: ) , ... ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - the first ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: