Low birth weight (LBW) has been considered as a risk factor for adult hypertension that is associated with deterioration of autonomic functions and low-grade inflammation. To explore the above effects of LBW, we measured blood pressure (BP) and heart rate variability during postural change from a supine position to a sitting position in 21 healthy Mongolian adults aged 23-34 years: 4 with LBW (birth weight < 2,500 g), 13 with normal birth weight (NBW, 2,500 g ≤ birth weight < 4,000 g), and 4 with high birth weight (HBW, ≥ 4,000 g). Mongolian population is known to have higher prevalence of hypertension. The ratio of low frequency (LF, 0.04-0.15 Hz) to high frequency components (HF, 0.15-0.40 Hz) was used as an index of sympathetic nerve activity, and HF was used as an index of parasympathetic nerve activity. In contrast to the NBW group, the LBW and HBW groups showed no significant increase in heart rate, systolic BP and LF/HF following postural change. We also measured blood cell counts and other blood parameters related to inflammation. After adjusting for age, BMI, sex and family history of hypertension, LBW was retained as an independent predictor only for higher counts of leukocytes (β = −0.51, p < 0.05), basophils (β = −0.62, p < 0.01), eosinophils (β = −0.83, p < 0.001), and platelets (β = −0.61, p < 0.05). We propose that LBW leads to blunted autonomic responses and low-grade inflammation in seemingly healthy Mongolian adults.
- Autonomic function
- Birth weight
- Blood pressure
- Healthy young Mongolian adult
- Low-grade inflammation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)