Aims: Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) predicts death and composite cardiovascular (CV) events in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We investigated the independent associations between GDF-15 levels and major bleeding, the extent of coronary lesions and individual CV events in patients with ACS.
Methods and results: Growth differentiation factor-15 was analysed at baseline ( ITALIC! n = 16 876) in patients with ACS randomized to ticagrelor or clopidogrel in the PLATO (PLATelet inhibition and patient Outcomes) trial. Growth differentiation factor-15 levels were related to extent of coronary artery disease (CAD) and to all types of non-coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)-related major bleeding, spontaneous myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and death during 12-month follow-up. In Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for established risk factors for CV disease and prognostic biomarkers (N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide, cystatin C, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, and high-sensitive troponin T), 1 SD increase in ln GDF-15 was associated with increased risk of major bleeding with a hazard ratio (HR) 1.37 (95% confidence interval: 1.25-1.51) and with a similar increase in risk across different bleeding locations. For the same increase in ln GDF-15, the HR for the composite of CV death, spontaneous MI, and stroke was 1.29 (1.21-1.37), CV death 1.41 (1.30-1.53), all-cause death 1.41 (1.31-1.53), spontaneous MI 1.15 (1.05-1.26), and stroke 1.19 (1.01-1.42). The ITALIC! C-statistic improved for the prediction of CV death and non-CABG-related major bleeding when adding GDF-15 to established risk factors.
Conclusions: In patients with ACS, higher levels of GDF-15 are associated with raised risks of all types of major non-CABG-related bleeding, spontaneous MI, and stroke as well as CV and total mortality and seem to improve risk stratification for CV-mortality and major bleeding beyond established risk factors.
Clinical trial registration: www.clinicaltrials.gov; NCT00391872.
Keywords: Cardiovascular risk factors; GDF-15; Major bleeding; Mortality; Myocardial infarction.
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