Background: Recent studies have demonstrated that aldosterone levels measured in patients with heart failure or acute myocardial infarction (MI) are associated with long-term mortality, but the association with aldosterone levels in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) outside these specific settings remains unknown. In addition, no clear mechanism has been elucidated to explain these observations. The present study was designed to evaluate the relationship between the level of aldosterone and the risk of death and acute ischaemic events in CAD patients with a preserved left ventricular (LV) function and no acute MI.
Methods and results: In 799 consecutive CAD patients referred for elective coronary angioplasty measurements were obtained before the procedure for: aldosterone (median = 25 pg/mL), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) (median = 35 pg/mL), hsC-reactive protein (median = 4.17 mg/L), and left ventricular ejection fraction (mean = 58%). Patients with acute MI or coronary syndrome (ACS) who required urgent revascularization were not included in the study. The primary endpoint, cardiovascular death, occurred in 41 patients during a median follow-up period of 14.9 months. Secondary endpoints-total mortality, acute ischaemic events (acute MI or ischaemic stroke), and the composite of death and acute ischaemic events-were observed in 52, 54, and 94 patients, respectively. Plasma aldosterone was found to be related to BMI, hypertension and NYHA class, and inversely related to age, creatinine clearance, and use of beta-blockers. Multivariate Cox model analysis demonstrated that aldosterone was independently associated with cardiovascular mortality (P = 0.001), total mortality (P = 0.001), acute ischaemic events (P = 0.01), and the composite of death and acute ischaemic events (P = 0.004). Reclassification analysis, using integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) and net reclassification improvement (NRI), demonstrated incremental predictive value of aldosterone (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that, in patients with CAD but without heart failure or acute MI, the level of aldosterone is strongly and independently associated with mortality and the occurrence of acute ischaemic events.