Possible Involvement of Thiamine Insufficiency in Heart Failure in the Institutionalized Elderly

J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2019 May;64(3):239-242. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.18-85. Epub 2019 Feb 6.


Heart failure is a major manifestation of thiamine deficiency; beriberi. Even thiamine insufficiency, milder than deficiency, may be associated with increased heart failure risk. In this cross-sectional study, the relationship between thiamine insufficiency and heart failure was investigated in the Japanese institutionalized elderly from April to November 2017. Fifty-five subjects in four care facilities were evaluated for their whole blood thiamine and plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations. Mean whole blood thiamine concentration was 88.7 ± 22.3 nmol/L in men and 92.0 ± 16.5 nmol/L in women, and significantly and negatively correlated with plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations (r = -0.378, p = 0.007). In the multiple regression analysis adjusted by age, sex, body mass index, and eGFR, whole blood thiamine concentration was a significant negative contributor (standardized coefficient β = -0.488, p = 0.001) to plasma brain natriuretic peptide. In the logistic regression analysis adjusted by the same variables, whole blood thiamine concentration significantly contributed to plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentration higher than over 40 pg/ml (OR: 0.898, 95%CI: 0.838-0.962). Whole blood thiamine concentration in subjects with diuretics was significantly lower than those without it (p = 0.023). Thiamine insufficiency was related to increased plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentration and may increase the risk of heart failure.

Keywords: brain natriuretic peptide; elderly; heart failure; insufficiency; thiamine.