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Survivors of premature births may have lung of elderly

Thu, Apr 30, 2015, 12:44 PM
New York, April 30 , 2015: By the time they reach their early 20s, adult survivors of premature births may have a lung capacity that resembles the healthy elderly or casual smokers, says a study.The researchers compared the lung function of adults who were born at less than 32 weeks gestational age to adults born full-term.

The study found premature infants are at increased risk for contracting bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic respiratory condition mainly affecting infants born less than 28 weeks of age.

The researchers looked at three groups: 20 adults born prematurely with BPD, 15 adults born prematurely without BPD and a control group of 20 healthy adults born full-term.

All went through a series of tests designed to examine lung function during exercise.

The study suggests that adults born prematurely without BPD, like their counterparts with BPD, show symptoms of a mild form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive disease that makes it harder to breathe, in their mid-20s.

Their lungs did not function as efficiently as the control group, which caused them to tire sooner.

"We were expecting more variation between the two preterm groups -- with and without BPD," said Andrew Lovering, professor of human physiology at the University of Oregon.

"We did not anticipate that they would share a similar lung profile," Lovering noted.
Agency: IANS

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