Author(s): Mercuro G
Although the survival rate for preterm subjects has improved considerably, due to the progress in the field of perinatal medicine, preterm birth is frequently the cause underlying a series of notorious complications: morphological, neurological, ophthalmological, and renal alterations. In addition, it has recently been demonstrated how low gestational age and reduced foetal growth contribute towards an increased cardiovascular risk in preterm neonates. In fact, cardiovascular mortality is higher among former preterm adults than those born at term. This condition is referred to as cardiovascular perinatal programming. In the light of the above, an early, constant, and prolonged cardiological followup programme should be implemented in former preterm individuals. The aim of this paper was to perform a comprehensive literature review about two new emerging conditions predisposing to an increased cardiovascular risk: prematurity and low weight at birth.