Aims: Non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) are critically involved in cardiovascular pathophysiology. Since they are measurable in most body fluids, they have been proposed as circulating biomarkers. We examined the prognostic value of a specific candidate miRNA in a large cohort of patients with chronic heart failure (HF) enrolled in a multicentre clinical trial.
Methods and results: Plasma levels of miR-132 were measured using miRNA-specific PCR-based technologies at randomization in 953 patients with chronic, symptomatic HF from the GISSI-Heart Failure trial. The association with fatal (all-cause and cardiovascular death) and non-fatal events (time to first admission to hospital for cardiovascular reasons or worsening of HF) and the incremental risk prediction were estimated in adjusted models. Higher circulating miR-132 levels were independently associated with younger age, better renal filtration, ischaemic aetiology of HF, more severe HF symptoms, higher diastolic blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and male sex. After extensive adjustment for demographic, clinical, and echocardiographic risk factors and baseline NT-proBNP concentrations, miR-132 remained associated only with HF hospitalizations (hazard ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.95, P = 0.01) and improved its risk prediction with the continuous net reclassification index (cNRI 0.205, P = 0.001).
Conclusion: In well characterized patients with chronic HF, circulating miR-132 levels rise with the severity of HF. Lower circulating miR-132 levels improved risk prediction for HF readmission beyond traditional risk factors, but not for mortality. MiR-132 may be helpful to intensify strategies aimed at reducing re-hospitalization, which has a substantial health and economic burden in HF.
Keywords: Clinical trial; Heart failure; Prognosis; miRNA-132.
© 2017 The Authors. European Journal of Heart Failure © 2017 European Society of Cardiology.