Context: B-type natriuretic peptides have been shown to predict cardiovascular disease in apparently healthy individuals but their predictive ability for mortality and future cardiovascular events compared with C-reactive protein (CRP) and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio is unknown.
Objective: To assess the prognostic value of the N-amino terminal fragment of the prohormone brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) vs CRP and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio in an older adult population.
Design, setting, and participants: A population-based prospective study of 764 participants aged 50 to 89 years from a community in Copenhagen, Denmark, in which 658 participants provided blood and urinary samples and were examined between September 1, 1998, and January 24, 2000. Of these participants, 626 without heart or renal failure were enrolled. A subgroup of 537 had no history of cardiovascular disease at baseline. During 5 years of follow-up (to December 31, 2003), 94 participants died and 65 developed a first major cardiovascular event.
Main outcome measures: Risk of mortality and first major cardiovascular event by baseline levels of NT-proBNP, CRP, and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio levels.
Results: After adjustment for the cardiovascular risk factors of age, sex, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension or ischemic heart disease, total cholesterol, and serum creatinine, the hazard ratio (HR) of mortality for values above the 80th percentile of NT-proBNP was 1.96 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-3.19); for CRP, 1.46 (95% CI, 0.89-2.24); and for urinary albumin/creatinine ratio, 1.88 (95% CI, 1.18-2.98). Additional adjustment for left ventricular systolic dysfunction did not markedly attenuate the predictive value of NT-proBNP (HR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.11-2.98). The absolute unadjusted increase in mortality risk for participants with values above the 80th percentile vs equal to or below the 80th percentile was 24.5% for NT-proBNP, 7.8% for CRP, and 19.5% for urinary albumin/creatinine ratio. The NT-proBNP levels were associated with first major cardiovascular events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, fatal coronary heart disease, unstable angina, heart failure, stroke, and transient ischemic attack) with an adjusted HR of 3.24 (95% CI, 1.80-5.79) vs 1.02 (95% CI, 0.56-1.85) for CRP and 2.32 (95% CI, 1.33-4.05) for urinary albumin/creatinine ratio when comparing participants with values above the 80th percentile with those with values equal to or below the 80th percentile.
Conclusions: Measurements of NT-proBNP provide prognostic information of mortality and first major cardiovascular events beyond traditional risk factors. NT-proBNP was a stronger risk biomarker for cardiovascular disease and death than CRP was in nonhospitalized individuals aged 50 to 89 years.