Objective: The comprehensive assaying of low-molecular-weight compounds, for example, metabolomics, provides a unique tool to uncover novel biomarkers and understand pathways underlying myocardial infarction (MI). We used a targeted metabolomics approach to identify biomarkers for MI and evaluate their involvement in the pathogenesis of MI.
Methods and results: Using three independent, prospective cohorts (KORA S4, KORA S2 and AGES-REFINE), totalling 2257 participants without a history of MI at baseline, we identified metabolites associated with incident MI (266 cases). We also investigated the association between the metabolites and high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP) to understand the relation between these metabolites and systemic inflammation. Out of 140 metabolites, 16 were nominally associated (p<0.05) with incident MI in KORA S4. Three metabolites, arginine and two lysophosphatidylcholines (LPC 17:0 and LPC 18:2), were selected as biomarkers via a backward stepwise selection procedure in the KORA S4 and were significant (p<0.0003) in a meta-analysis comprising all three studies including KORA S2 and AGES-REFINE. Furthermore, these three metabolites increased the predictive value of the Framingham risk score, increasing the area under the receiver operating characteristic score in KORA S4 (from 0.70 to 0.78, p=0.001) and AGES-REFINE study (from 0.70 to 0.76, p=0.02), but was not observed in KORA S2. The metabolite biomarkers attenuated the association between hsCRP and MI, indicating a potential link to systemic inflammatory processes.
Conclusions: We identified three metabolite biomarkers, which in combination increase the predictive value of the Framingham risk score. The attenuation of the hsCRP-MI association by these three metabolites indicates a potential link to systemic inflammation.
Keywords: Myocardial infarction; biomarkers; inflammation; metabolomics.
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