Background: Elevated plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels suggest a high risk for future onset of cardiovascular events including congestive heart failure (CHF) and mortality. In the general population, although median plasma BNP levels have been reported to be higher in women than in men, the incidence of CHF and mortality are lower in women. However, no studies have examined gender-specific risk stratification of plasma BNP levels for future onset of CHF and mortality.
Methods: Subjects of this study were recruited from our general population. Baseline data including plasma BNP were determined in 13,466 subjects (men 4527, women 8939; median age = 64 yrs). A multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed to examine the predictive ability of plasma BNP for new onset of CHF and mortality.
Results: The mean follow-up duration was 2.9 years. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors including atrial fibrillation, hazard ratios for CHF development for values above the 75th percentile of BNP were 13.4 (p<0.001) in men and 8.5 (p<0.001) in women. Similarly, each increment of 1SD in log BNP levels increased the hazard ratio by 8.8 (p<0.001) in men, and 6.7 (p<0.001) in women. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was significant for prediction of the onset of CHF (men; 0.853, women; 0.838). In addition, increased plasma BNP levels implied high risk of any-cause mortality in men (above the 75th percentile; hazard ratio = 1.8, p=0.005: increment of 1SD; hazard ratio = 1.4, p=0.024), but this relationship was suboptimal in women.
Conclusion: Measurements of plasma BNP provides strong predictive information about future onset of CHF in both sexes, with predictive ability for death being effective especially in men.
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