Background: N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (Nt-proBNP) and N-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (Nt-proANP) are strong cardiovascular risk markers in patients with chronic heart failure, as well as in the general population. We investigated whether high Nt-proBNP or Nt-proANP could also predict the composite endpoint (CEP) of cardiovascular death, non-fatal stroke or non-fatal myocardial infarction in patients with hypertension and left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy.
Methods: After 2 weeks of placebo treatment, clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic variables were assessed in 183 hypertensive participants in the LIFE echo substudy with electrocardiographic LV hypertrophy. Nt-proBNP and Nt-proANP were measured by immunoassay at baseline. The patients were followed for 60 +/- 5 months.
Results: Using Cox regression analysis, the 25 CEP were predicted by ln(Nt-proBNP) (hazard ratio 1.61 per 2.73-fold increase, P < 0.01) as well as ln(Nt-proANP) (hazard ratio 2.93, P < 0.05). Nt-proBNP above the median value of 21.8 pmol/ml was associated with higher incidence of CEP (19.6 versus 7.7%, P < 0.05). Nt-proBNP above the median value was associated with higher incidence of CEP in the 123 patients without history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease (14.8 versus 4.3%, P < 0.05), but the association was insignificant in the 60 patients with a history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease (26.3 versus 18.2%, NS). Nt-proANP showed the same tendency.
Conclusion: Nt-proBNP, more than Nt-proANP, strongly predicts cardiovascular events in patients with hypertension and LV hypertrophy, especially in patients without diabetes or clinically overt cardiovascular disease.