Plasma pro-B-type natriuretic peptide in the general population: screening for left ventricular hypertrophy and systolic dysfunction

Eur Heart J. 2006 Dec;27(24):3004-10. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehl406. Epub 2006 Nov 21.


Aims: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) measurement in screening for left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) has been evaluated in the general population, but corresponding information on proBNP and the N-terminal proBNP fragment is still limited. We therefore examined whether proBNP measurement is useful for LVH and LVSD screening in the general population.

Methods and results: In the 4th Copenhagen City Heart Study, 3497 participants underwent echocardiography with assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and mass. The impact of gender and age was determined and the diagnostic performance of the plasma proBNP concentration was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Of 1502 men and 1995 women, 4.1 and 2.6% had LVSD defined as an LVEF<60% whereas only 0.4% displayed LVEF<40%. The proBNP concentration was 1.7-fold higher in women compared with men (P<0.0001) and related to age in both genders. The mean proBNP plasma concentration was two-fold higher in subjects with LVSD than without LVSD (P<0.0001). Likewise, LVH imposed a 1.9-fold increase in the proBNP concentration (P<0.0001): Both differences persisted after adjusting for ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, gender, and age. The diagnostic performance of proBNP in detecting LVEF<40% was high with an area under the ROC curves of 0.92 (95% CI 0.79-1.00) in women and 0.85 (95% CI 0.74-0.96) in men.

Conclusion: We have established the impact of age and gender on the proBNP concentration in a large, community-based cohort. The diagnostic performance for proBNP measurement in screening for LVH and LVSD in the general population parallels the reported data for BNP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnosis*


  • Peptide Fragments
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain