May 3, 2021

U of A research examines how perinatal stressors impact babies’ cardiovascular development

Photo: William Au

A new project seeks to determine how iron deficiency and sepsis increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Forough Jahandideh is investigating how perinatal stressors like iron deficiency and sepsis impact the development of the cardiovascular—or circulatory—system, which comprises the heart and blood vessels.

Neonatal sepsis is a blood infection that occurs in infants younger than 90 days old and leads to 1.4 million deaths annually. Because of their immature immune systems, preterm babies are at higher risk for developing neonatal sepsis, which can negatively affect development cardiovascular and result in health complications later in life. 

“What we don’t know is whether sepsis exposure in early life worsens cardiovascular complications in babies born from iron-deficient pregnancies,” says Jahandideh, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. 

Read Jahandideh’s full Postdoctoral Fellowship profile.