Few reports have examined the utility of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) testing for cardiovascular (CV) risk stratification in real-world hypertensive subjects. Subjects of the study were community-based hypertensive patients (n = 5,865). The CV event rate within each BNP quartile was estimated, and a Cox regression model was used to determine the relative hazard ratio (HR) among the quartiles. Furthermore, to determine the usefulness of BNP as a biomarker in combination with the Framingham risk score (FRS), the predictive abilities in terms of area under the curve of receiver operating characteristic analysis, net reclassification improvement, and integrated discrimination improvement indices were determined. The mean follow-up duration was 5.6 years. The highest quartile showed a significantly higher rate of CV events compared with the lower quartiles (p <0.001). After adjustment for established CV risk factors, the HR for CV events increased significantly according to the quartile (p value for trend <0.03), and the HR for the highest quartile was significantly elevated compared with the lowest quartile (HR 1.59, 95% confidence interval 1.16 to 2.19). The predictive abilities of BNP in terms of sensitivity and specificity for CV events were comparable with those of FRS. When BNP was added to an FRS-only model, the predictive abilities in terms of area under receiver operating characteristic curve, net reclassification improvement, and integrated discrimination improvement were significantly increased (all; p <0.001). Elevated BNP levels are thus a useful biomarker for CV risk stratification in unselected real-world hypertensive subjects. Adding BNP to an established CV risk score improves the predictive ability in this cohort.
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