Racial/Ethnic differences in B-type natriuretic peptide levels and their association with care and outcomes among patients hospitalized with heart failure: findings from Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure

JACC Heart Fail. 2013 Aug;1(4):345-352. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 Aug 5.


Objectives: This study sought to determine if there were differences in B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels across racial/ethnic groups and in their association with quality of care and in-hospital outcomes among patients with heart failure (HF).

Background: It remains unclear whether BNP levels and their associations with quality of care and prognosis vary by race/ethnicity among patients hospitalized with HF.

Methods: Using Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure (GWTG-HF), patient characteristics and BNP levels at admission were compared among 4 racial/ethnic populations: white, black, Hispanic, and Asian. The associations between BNP, quality of care, in-hospital mortality, and length of stay (LOS) across these groups were analyzed.

Results: A total of 92,072 patients (65,037 white, 19,092 black, 6,747 Hispanic, and 1,196 Asian) from 264 hospitals were included. Median BNP levels were higher in Asian (1,066 pg/ml) and black (866 pg/ml) patients than in white (776 pg/ml) and Hispanic (737 pg/ml) patients, and race/ethnicity was independently associated with BNP levels (p < 0.0001). Irrespective of race/ethnicity, patients in higher BNP quartiles (Q3, Q4) were more likely to be older and male and have lower body mass index, reduced ejection fraction, and renal insufficiency, whereas those in the lowest quartile (Q1) were more likely to have diabetes. With some exceptions, there were no significant racial/ethnic differences in the association of BNP levels with performance measure adherence. In multivariate analysis, elevated BNP levels remained associated with longer LOS and increased mortality in all racial/ethnic groups.

Conclusions: Asian and black patients with HF had higher BNP levels at admission compared with white and Hispanic patients. BNP levels at admission provided prognostic value for in-hospital mortality and hospital LOS irrespective of race/ethnicity.

Keywords: BNP; heart failure; outcome; quality of care; race.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian*
  • Black or African American*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • White People*


  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain