AIMS: The aim of this study was to examine whether high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) carried incremental prognostic value in predicting cardiovascular morbidity and mortality beyond traditional risk factors in apparently healthy individuals.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This was a prospective population-based cohort study comprising 1951 subjects included in the 10-year follow-up of the MONItoring of trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease (MONICA) study, between 1993 and 1994. The principal endpoint was death from cardiovascular causes. Secondary endpoints were death from any cause, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and cerebrovascular disease. Predictive capabilities of each of the three biomarkers were tested using Cox proportional-hazards regression, Harrell's concordance index (C-index), and net reclassification improvement (NRI). Study participants were aged 41, 51, 61, or 71 years, and equally distributed between the two sexes. During a median follow-up of 18.5 years (interquartile range: 18.1-19.0), 177 (9.1%) subjects died from a cardiovascular cause. Hs-CRP (adjusted standardized hazard ratio (HR): 1.37, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17-1.60), NT-proBNP (HR: 1.90, 95% CI: 1.58-2.29), and suPAR (HR: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.17-1.57) were all significantly associated with cardiovascular deaths after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol ( p < 0.001 for all). Furthermore, all three biomarkers were significantly associated with significant NRI. However, only NT-proBNP significantly raised the C-index in predicting death from cardiovascular causes when added to the risk factors (C-index 0.860 versus 0.847; p = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: Hs-CRP, suPAR, and particularly NT-proBNP predicted cardiovascular death and may enhance prognostication beyond traditional risk factors in apparently healthy individuals.