The study of 987 men and women with stable coronary heart disease revealed that the higher a patient's level of NT-proBNP, the greater the chance the patient would die or have a cardiovascular event – heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.
"After adjusting for all other risk factors, it's clear that this marker is picking up something that we are otherwise unable to detect with standard tests such as echocardiography," says principal investigator Mary Whooley, MD, a staff physician at SFVAMC and an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
The study appears in the January 10, 2007 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.
NT-proBNP is a marker in the blood for BNP, a hormone that "goes up during times of cardiac stretch or stress," explains Whooley. "When the heart wall is over-expanded by too much blood volume, or damaged by lack of blood flow to the heart itself, BNP goes up, and NT-proBNP along with it."
Patients in the study were divided into four quartiles depending on their NT-proBNP blood levels, and followed for an average of 3.7 years each. Twenty-six percent died or had a cardiovascular event during the course of the study. The study reports that "each increasing quartile … was associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular events or death." Patients in the quartile with the highest levels of the biomarker were 3.4 times more likely to die or have a cardiovascular event than patients in the group with the lowest levels.
Whooley cautions that the NT-proBNP test is "not something that we should order on every patient who comes in for a routine checkup," but would be most useful for patients with known coronary heart disease. "In the general population, the incidence of heart disease is so low relative to the incidence in heart disease patients that you get many more false positive results than true positives, which really lowers the value of the test," she says. "It's much better at predicting risk in a population with a high incidence of heart disease."
Whooley also notes that, even among heart patients, the value of the test is limited "because all of the therapies available to prevent cardiovascular events should already be used among these patients. The best it can do is help identify candidates for more aggressive therapy."
She says that one additional step for researchers is to see "whether there are therapeutic interventions that still remain to be developed that might prevent heart patients with elevated BNP from doing worse."
Patients in the current study were all enrolled in the Heart and Soul Study, a multi-year prospective study of one thousand heart patients directed by Whooley that is designed to investigate whether depression predicts heart disease. "Because the Heart and Soul Study measures heart disease so carefully, our data set has become extremely valuable for a wide range of cardiovascular studies, many of which have nothing to do with our original hypothesis," Whooley says. "This study is just one example."
When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences