Low birth weight due to premature birth or to intrauterine growth retardation adversely affects normal renal development. In the period immediately after birth, the short-term renal-related consequences of low birth weight are an increased risk of acute renal failure as well as transient imbalance of fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. Epidemiological studies show that low birth weight adults are at risk of developing chronic renal disease. There are thought to be several causes for this phenomenon. Adult low birth weight subjects have an increased incidence of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, both of which are well-established risk factors for chronic renal injury. Moreover, interference with normal kidney development, as seen in low birth weight babies, results in a lower than normal number of nephrons, which might also play a role in the renal disturbances.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine