Identification of preclinical cardiovascular disease represents a challenge. We evaluate N-terminal proB-type natriuretic peptides (NT-proBNP) as markers of both cardiac and vascular subclinical disease in a community-based study including asymptomatic middle- aged study participants.Methods and results
In total, 807 study participants without previous cardiovascular disease were recruited. They underwent thorough laboratory assessment (including NT-proBNP), ultrasound examination of heart and evaluation of coronary calcium score and carotid intima-media thickness, by computed tomography and ultrasound, respectively.Methods and results
Cardiac and vascular disease were defined as one among left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction less than 50% (3.1%), E/E’ ratio more than 15 (9%), LV mass index more than 115 in men or more than 95 g/m2 in women (20%), LV end diastolic diameter more than 55 mm (2.5%), coronary calcium score more than 100 AU (13%), or carotid intima-media thickness more than 1.2 mm (21%), respectively. NT-proBNP [OR, 1.275; 95% (confidence interval) CI, 1.007–1.613, P < 0.001], 10-year Framingham risk score (FRS; OR 1.132; 95% CI, 1.058–1.212, P < 0.001) and lower creatinine clearance (OR, 0.983; 95% CI, 0.971–0.994, P < 0.001) predicted cardiac (220, 27%), whereas 10-year Framingham risk score (OR, 1.340; 95% CI, 1.245–1.674, P < 0.001) and NT-proBNP (OR, 1.501; 95% CI, 1.181–1.907, P < 0.001) predicted vascular involvement (215, 26%), at multivariate analysis. In total, 84 study participants (10.1%) had coexisting cardiac and vascular disease. NT-proBNP increased linearly from health study participants to study participants with only cardiac or vascular involvement, up to coexisting cardiovascular disease.Conclusion
Coexisting cardiac and vascular involvement in asymptomatic study participants is common. Along with traditional risk factors, NT-proBNP appears a valuable biomarker for global subclinical heart and vessels disease.