Objectives: The N-terminal prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is involved in the regulation of volume load and secreted when systemic cardiac overload occurs. Fibulin-1 on the other hand is a component of many extracellular matrix proteins including those present in atherosclerotic lesions, expressed in elastin-containing fibres of blood vessels, and also in the heart. Due to an alarming prevalence of hypertensive heart disease in black South Africans, we investigated the associations of NT-proBNP with fibulin-1 and markers of arterial stiffness in Africans and Caucasians. Methods: We included 231 Africans and 238 Caucasians from South Africa aged 22-77 years. Serum NT-proBNP and fibulin-1 levels were determined, and arterial compliance and pulse wave velocity were measured. Results: Africans had significantly higher blood pressure and NT-proBNP levels than Caucasians and African men had higher fibulin-1 levels than Caucasian men. In single regression analysis, NT-proBNP was significantly associated with fibulin-1 in African men and Caucasian women. NT-proBNP correlated negatively with arterial compliance in all groups except Caucasian women. After partial adjustments, the association between NT-proBNP and fibulin-1 strengthened in African men only. After full adjustment in multiple regression analysis, the association of NT-proBNP with fibulin-1 was confirmed in African men (R 2=0.41; β=0.26; p<0.01) and also in younger women (R 2=0.34; β=0.251; p=0.012). Conclusions: Only Africans indicated a significant independent association between NT-proBNP and fibulin-1, suggesting that cardiovascular alterations are already present in this relatively young African population as opposed to Caucasians.
|Status||Udgivet - 1 maj 2012|