New Delhi: People who suffer from heart abnormalities due to preterm birth could correct the damage with exercise in young adulthood, according to a study, which was presented at EuroCMR 2019. Around one to two per cent of adults today were born more than two months prematurely (very preterm) and have heart abnormalities that increase their risk of cardiovascular disease. For instance, the heart is smaller and has to pump harder to supply the body with blood.
"Until now we did not know if this was permanent or amenable to improvement. Now, for the first time, we have shown how to make preterm hearts function as well as their peers. No drugs were required - just a 14-week exercise programme," said Anne Monique Nuyt, co-principal investigator. The study enrolled 14 participants aged between 18-29 years, of whom eight were born very preterm and six acted as controls.