Forgive Avorgbedor, PhD '17; Susan Silva, associate professor; Beth Merwin, executive vice dean; and Diane Holditch-Davis, professor emerita; recently published an article entitled "Health, Physical Growth, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Preterm Infants of Women with Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy" in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN). James Blumenthal is a co-author of this article.
Objective: To compare the health, physical growth, and developmental outcomes in preterm infants of women with and without hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP).
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of health outcomes; physical growth (head circumference, height, and weight) collected at birth and 2 months, corrected for prematurity; and cognitive, language, and motor skills of preterm infants of women with and without HDP.
Setting: Four NICUs in the United States.
Participants: Women (n = 221) and their preterm infants who weighed less than 1,750 g were enrolled in a multicenter, randomized trial of two interventions administered by each infant’s mother when the infant was no longer critically ill.
Methods: Women and their preterm infants were categorized into groups with (n = 80) and without (control, n = 141) HDP. Data were extracted from infants’ medical records, and the women completed questionnaires.
Results: The infants of women with HDP were more likely to be small for gestational age than the infants of women without HDP (31.7% vs. 10.6%, p < .002). The proportion of infants with greater neurologic risk, patent ductus arteriosus, intraventricular hemorrhage, and days on a ventilator did not differ between the groups. Although mean infant height at 2 months was less in the HDP group than the control group, other growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes did not differ between the groups.
Conclusion: Among preterm infants admitted to NICUs, those born to women with HDP were more likely to be small for gestational age than those born to normotensive women. Additional research is needed to optimize care for infants born to women with HDP.