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Changes in the structure and function of the hearts of people born prematurely may make them less able to cope with the pressures of exercise in adulthood, and could lead to increased risk of heart failure later in life.

The findings from a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and part-funded by the British Heart Foundation, may explain why people born prematurely are more likely to develop heart failure in later life.

In the UK in 2016, more than 54,000 babies were born prematurely, accounting for around 8 per cent of all live births. Globally, these rates range from 5 to 18 per cent.

While we know that those born prematurely are more likely to suffer with heart conditions as adults, researchers are yet to fully understand the biological reasons for this.

Find out more (University of Oxford website)

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