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1.  Complementary Roles for Biomarkers of Biomechanical Strain ST2 and N-Terminal Prohormone B-Type Natriuretic Peptide in Patients With ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction 
Circulation  2008;117(15):1936-1944.
Background
ST2 is a member of the interleukin-1 receptor family with a soluble form that is markedly upregulated on application of biomechanical strain to cardiac myocytes. Circulating ST2 levels are elevated in the setting of acute myocardial infarction, but the predictive value of ST2 independent of traditional clinical factors and of an established biomarker of biomechanical strain, N-terminal prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), has not been established.
Methods and Results
We measured ST2 at baseline in 1239 patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction from the CLopidogrel as Adjunctive ReperfusIon TherapY–Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 28 (CLARITY-TIMI 28) trial. Per trial protocol, patients were to undergo coronary angiography after 2 to 8 days and were followed up for 30 days for clinical events. In contrast to NT-proBNP, ST2 levels were independent of clinical factors potentially related to chronic increased left ventricular wall stress, including age, hypertension, prior myocardial infarction, and prior heart failure; levels also were only modestly correlated with NT-proBNP (r=0.14). After adjustment for baseline characteristics and NT-proBNP levels, an ST2 level above the median was associated with a significantly greater risk of cardiovascular death or heart failure (third quartile: adjusted odds ratio, 1.42; 95% confidence interval, 0.68 to 3.57; fourth quartile: adjusted odds ratio, 3.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.87 to 6.81; P<0.0001 for trend). When both ST2 and NT-proBNP were added to a model containing traditional clinical predictors, the c statistic significantly improved from 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.77 to 0.87) to 0.86 (95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 0.90) (P=0.017).
Conclusions
In ST-elevation myocardial infarction, high baseline ST2 levels are a significant predictor of cardiovascular death and heart failure independently of baseline characteristics and NT-proBNP, and the combination of ST2 and NT-proBNP significantly improves risk stratification. These data highlight the prognostic value of multiple, complementary biomarkers of biomechanical strain in ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.728022
PMCID: PMC4273564  PMID: 18378613
myocardial infarction; natriuretic peptides; prognosis
2.  Proteinase 3 and prognosis of patients with acute myocardial infarction 
A multimarker approach may be useful for risk stratification in AMI (acute myocardial infarction) patients, particularly utilizing pathways that are pathophysiologically distinct. Our aim was to assess the prognostic value of PR3 (proteinase 3) in patients post-AMI. We compared the prognostic value of PR3, an inflammatory marker, with an established marker NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) post-AMI. We recruited 900 consecutive post-AMI patients (700 men; age, 64.6±12.4 years) in a prospective study with follow-up over 347 (0–764) days. Plasma PR3 was significantly higher in patients who died [666.2 (226.8–4035.5) ng/ml; P<0.001] or were readmitted with heart failure [598 (231.6–1803.9) ng/ml, P<0.004] compared with event-free survivors [486.9 (29.3–3118.2) ng/ml]. Using Cox modelling, log10 PR3 [HR (hazard ratio), 3.80] and log10 NT-proBNP (HR, 2.51) were significant independent predictors of death or heart failure. When patients were stratified by plasma NT-proBNP (median, 1023 pmol/l), PR3 gave additional predictive value for death or heart failure, in both the patients in whom NT-proBNP level was above the median (log rank for trend, 12.54; P<0.0004) and those with NT-proBNP level below the median (log rank for trend, 3.83; P<0.05). Neither marker predicted recurrent AMI. In conclusion, this is the first report showing a potential role for the serine protease PR3 in determining mortality and incidence of heart failure following AMI, independent of established conventional risk factors. PR3 may represent a clinically useful marker of prognosis after an AMI as part of a multimarker strategy.
doi:10.1042/CS20100366
PMCID: PMC2999885  PMID: 20942801
myeloperoxidase; myocardial infarction; neutrophil; peptide; prognosis; proteinase 3; AMI, acute myocardial infarction; AUC, area under the curve; BNP, B-type natriuretic peptide; CI, confidence interval; HR, hazard ratio; IL, interleukin; LVEF, left ventricular ejection fraction; LVWMI, left ventricular wall motion index; MAE, methyl-acridinium ester; MPO, myeloperoxidase; NT-proBNP, N-terminal pro-BNP; PR3, proteinase 3; ROC, receiver-operating characteristic; TNFα, tumour necrosis factor α
3.  B‐type Natriuretic Peptides for the Prediction of Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Stable Coronary Heart Disease: The Heart and Soul Study 
Background
Brain‐type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and the amino‐terminal fragment of its prohormone (NT‐proBNP) are known predictors of cardiovascular outcomes in patients with coronary heart disease; however, the relative prognostic value of these 2 biomarkers for secondary events remains unclear.
Methods and Results
In 983 participants with stable coronary heart disease, we evaluated the association of BNP and NT‐proBNP with time to hospitalization for heart failure, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke or transient ischemic attack, cardiovascular death, and combined major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). During an average follow‐up of 6.5±3.3 years, both BNP and NT‐proBNP were associated with increased risk of MACE in a multivariable‐adjusted model (hazard ratio per standard deviation of log BNP: 1.58; 95% CI: 1.32 to 1.89; hazard ratio per standard deviation of log NT‐proBNP: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.52 to 2.24). When added to traditional risk factors, NT‐proBNP predicted MACE better than BNP (C statistic: 0.76 versus 0.72, P<0.001). Similarly, the addition of NT‐proBNP resulted in a greater net reclassification improvement for predicting MACE than the addition of BNP (65% for NT‐proBNP, 56% for BNP).
Conclusions
Both BNP and NT‐proBNP were significant predictors of MACE in stable coronary heart disease; however, NT‐proBNP was superior to BNP for net risk reclassification for MACE.
doi:10.1161/JAHA.114.000907
PMCID: PMC4310375  PMID: 25053234
adverse cardiovascular outcomes; BNP; NT‐proBNP; risk assessment; stable coronary heart disease
4.  Unrecognized Non-Q-Wave Myocardial Infarction: Prevalence and Prognostic Significance in Patients with Suspected Coronary Disease 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(4):e1000057.
Using delayed-enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance, Han Kim and colleagues show that in patients with suspected coronary disease the prevalence of unrecognized myocardial infarction without Q-waves is more than 3-fold higher than that with Q-waves and predicts subsequent mortality.
Background
Unrecognized myocardial infarction (UMI) is known to constitute a substantial portion of potentially lethal coronary heart disease. However, the diagnosis of UMI is based on the appearance of incidental Q-waves on 12-lead electrocardiography. Thus, the syndrome of non-Q-wave UMI has not been investigated. Delayed-enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DE-CMR) can identify MI, even when small, subendocardial, or without associated Q-waves. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and prognosis associated with non-Q-wave UMI identified by DE-CMR.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective study of 185 patients with suspected coronary disease and without history of clinical myocardial infarction who were scheduled for invasive coronary angiography. Q-wave UMI was determined by electrocardiography (Minnesota Code). Non-Q-wave UMI was identified by DE-CMR in the absence of electrocardiographic Q-waves. Patients were followed to determine the prognostic significance of non-Q-wave UMI. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. The prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI was 27% (50/185), compared with 8% (15/185) for Q-wave UMI. Patients with non-Q-wave UMI were older, were more likely to have diabetes, and had higher Framingham risk than those without MI, but were similar to those with Q-wave UMI. Infarct size in non-Q-wave UMI was modest (8%±7% of left ventricular mass), and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) by cine-CMR was usually preserved (52%±18%). The prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI increased with the extent and severity of coronary disease on angiography (p<0.0001 for both). Over 2.2 y (interquartile range 1.8–2.7), 16 deaths occurred: 13 in non-Q-wave UMI patients (26%), one in Q-wave UMI (7%), and two in patients without MI (2%). Multivariable analysis including New York Heart Association class and LVEF demonstrated that non-Q-wave UMI was an independent predictor of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 11.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.5–51.1) and cardiac mortality (HR 17.4, 95% CI 2.2–137.4).
Conclusions
In patients with suspected coronary disease, the prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI is more than 3-fold higher than Q-wave UMI. The presence of non-Q-wave UMI predicts subsequent mortality, and is incremental to LVEF.
Trial Registration
Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00493168
Editors' Summary
Background
Coronary artery disease (CAD; also called coronary heart disease) is the leading cause of death among adults in developed countries. In the USA alone, it kills nearly half a million people every year. CAD is caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients. With age, fatty deposits (atherosclerotic plaques) coat the walls of these arteries and restrict the heart's blood supply, which causes the characteristic symptoms of CAD—angina (chest pains that are usually relieved by rest) and shortness of breath. In addition, if a plaque breaks off the wall of a coronary artery, it can completely block that artery and kill part of the heart, which causes a potentially fatal heart attack (doctors call this a myocardial infarction or MI). Heart attacks are often characterized by long-lasting chest pain that is not relieved by rest. Risk factors for CAD include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood levels of cholesterol (a type of fat), and being overweight. Treatments for the condition include lifestyle changes (for example, losing weight), and medications that lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol. The narrowed arteries can also be widened using a device called a stent or surgically bypassed.
Why Was This Study Done?
Not everyone who has a heart attack has chest pain. In fact, some studies suggest that 40–60% of MIs have no obvious symptoms. It is important, however, that these “unrecognized” MIs (UMIs) are diagnosed because they have death rates similar to those of MIs with clinical symptoms and need to be treated in a similar way. Traditionally, UMIs have been diagnosed using an electrocardiogram (ECG). When the heart beats, it generates small electric waves that can be picked up by electrodes attached to the skin. The pattern of these waves (the ECG) provides information about the heart's health. Alterations in the ECG, leading to so-called Q-waves, indicate that a UMI has occurred some time previously. However, not all UMIs result in Q-waves. In this study, the researchers use a recently developed technique—delayed enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DE-CMR), which can detect heart damage even in patients whose Q-waves are absent—to measure the prevalence (the fraction of a population that has a disorder) of non-Q-wave UMI. The researchers also investigate whether non-Q-wave UMI increases the risk of death.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used electrocardiography and DE-CMR to look for Q-wave and non-Q-wave UMI, respectively, in 185 patients with suspected CAD but no history of MI. They then followed the patients for 2 years to discover whether a diagnosis of non-Q-wave UMI predicted their likelihood of dying from any cause or from a heart problem. 27% of the patients had evidence of non-Q-wave UMI whereas only 8% had evidence of Q-wave UMI. Patients with non-Q-wave UMI tended to have only a small area of heart damage and, consistent with this limited damage, their hearts pumped near-normal volumes of blood. Examination of the patients' arteries with a technique called coronary angiography indicated that the patients with widespread and/or severe CAD had a higher prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI than those with limited CAD. Finally, patients with non-Q-wave UMI had an 11-fold higher risk of death from any cause and a 17-fold higher risk of death from a heart problem than patients without UMI.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that non-Q-wave UMI occurs more than 3-times as often in patients with suspected CAD than Q-wave UMI and that patients with non-Q-wave UMI have a much greater risk of dying than patients without MI. Thus, if all cases of UMI—both Q-wave and non-Q-wave UMI—could be identified, it might be possible to reduce the number of deaths among people with CAD. However, before any recommendations are made to include DE-CMR in the routine examination of people with suspected CAD to achieve this aim, additional studies must be undertaken to confirm that non-Q-wave UMI is a common feature of CAD and to test whether the early diagnosis of non-Q-wave UMI does extend the life expectancy of people with CAD.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000057.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Clara Chow
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and electrocardiograms (in English and Spanish). MedlinePlus also provides links to further information on all aspects of heart disease (in English and Spanish)
Information is available from the US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute on coronary heart disease
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information about coronary heart disease (in several languages).
The Nobel Foundation provides an interactive electrocardiogram game
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000057
PMCID: PMC2661255  PMID: 19381280
5.  Xanthelasmata, arcus corneae, and ischaemic vascular disease and death in general population: prospective cohort study 
Objective To test the hypothesis that xanthelasmata and arcus corneae, individually and combined, predict risk of ischaemic vascular disease and death in the general population.
Design Prospective population based cohort study.
Setting The Copenhagen City Heart Study.
Participants 12 745 people aged 20-93 years free of ischaemic vascular disease at baseline and followed from 1976-8 until May 2009 with 100% complete follow-up.
Main outcome measures Hazard ratios for myocardial infarction, ischaemic heart disease, ischaemic stroke, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease, and death; odds ratios for severe atherosclerosis.
Results 563 (4.4%) of participants had xanthelasmata and 3159 (24.8%) had arcus corneae at baseline. During 33 years’ follow-up (mean 22 years), 1872 developed myocardial infarction, 3699 developed ischaemic heart disease, 1498 developed ischaemic stroke, 1815 developed ischaemic cerebrovascular disease, and 8507 died. Multifactorially adjusted hazard/odds ratios for people with versus those without xanthelasmata were 1.48 (95% confidence interval 1.23 to 1.79) for myocardial infarction, 1.39 (1.20 to 1.60) for ischaemic heart disease, 0.94 (0.73 to 1.21) for ischaemic stroke, 0.91 (0.72 to 1.15) for ischaemic cerebrovascular disease, 1.69 (1.03 to 2.79) for severe atherosclerosis, and 1.14 (1.04 to 1.26) for death. The corresponding hazard/odds ratios for people with versus those without arcus corneae were non-significant. In people with versus those without both xanthelasmata and arcus corneae, hazard/odds ratios were 1.47 (1.09 to 1.99) for myocardial infarction, 1.56 (1.25 to 1.94) for ischaemic heart disease, 0.87 (0.57 to 1.31) for ischaemic stroke, 0.86 (0.58 to 1.26) for ischaemic cerebrovascular disease, 2.75 (0.75 to 10.1) for severe atherosclerosis, and 1.09 (0.93 to 1.28) for death. In all age groups in both women and men, absolute 10 year risk of myocardial infarction, ischaemic heart disease, and death increased in the presence of xanthelasmata. The highest absolute 10 year risks of ischaemic heart disease of 53% and 41% were found in men aged 70-79 years with and without xanthelasmata. Corresponding values in women were 35% and 27%.
Conclusion Xanthelasmata predict risk of myocardial infarction, ischaemic heart disease, severe atherosclerosis, and death in the general population, independently of well known cardiovascular risk factors, including plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. In contrast, arcus corneae is not an important independent predictor of risk.
doi:10.1136/bmj.d5497
PMCID: PMC3174271  PMID: 21920887
6.  Outcome and survival analysis of surgical repair of post-infarction ventricular septal rupture 
Background
To review the experience of surgical repair of post-infarction ventricular septal rupture (VSR) and analyze the associated outcomes and prognostic factors.
Methods
Following approval from the Singhealth Centralised Institutional Review Board (reference: 2011/881/C), a retrospective review was performed on 38 consecutive patients who had undergone surgical repair of post-infarction VSR between 1999 and 2011. Continuous variables were expressed as either mean ± standard deviation or median with 25th and 75th percentiles. These were compared using two-tailed t-test or Mann–Whitney U test respectively. Categorical variables were compared using chi-square or Fisher’s exact test. To identify predictors of operative mortality, univariate analysis of perioperative variables followed by multivariate analysis of significant univariate risk factors was performed. A two-tailed p-value < 0.05 was used to indicate statistical significance.
Results
Mean age was 65.7 ± 9.4 years with 52.6% males. The VSR was anterior in 28 (73.7%) and posterior in 10 patients. Median interval from myocardial infarction to VSR was 1 day (1, 4). Pre-operative intra-aortic balloon pump was inserted in 37 patients (97.8%). Thirty-six patients (94.7%) underwent coronary angiography.
Thirty-five patients (92.1%) underwent patch repair. Mean aortic cross clamp time was 82 ± 40 minutes and mean cardiopulmonary bypass time was 152 ± 52 minutes. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) was performed in 19 patients (50%), with a mean of 1.5 ± 0.7 distal anastomoses. Operative mortality within 30 days was 39.5%.
Univariate analysis identified emergency surgery, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class, inotropic support, right ventricular dysfunction, EuroSCORE II, intra-operative red cell transfusion, post-operative renal failure and renal replacement therapy (RRT) as predictors of operative mortality. Multivariate analysis identified NYHA class and post-operative RRT as predictors of operative mortality.
Ten year overall survival was 44.4 ± 8.4%. Right ventricular dysfunction, LVEF and NYHA class at presentation were independent factors affecting long-term survival. Concomitant CABG did not influence early or late survival.
Conclusions
Surgical repair of post-infarction VSR carries a high operative mortality. NYHA class at presentation and post-operative RRT are predictors of early mortality. Right ventricular dysfunction, LVEF and NYHA class at presentation affect long-term survival. Concomitant CABG does not improve survival.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-44
PMCID: PMC3599964  PMID: 23497648
Ventricular septal rupture; Myocardial infarction
7.  Skin autofluorescence is elevated in acute myocardial infarction and is associated with the one-year incidence of major adverse cardiac events 
Netherlands Heart Journal  2009;17(4):162-168.
Background.
ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress, enhancing the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). These encompass a characteristic fluorescence pattern, which can be non-invasively measured as skin autofluorescence (AF). In this study we investigate whether skin AF is elevated in STEMI, its association with inflammatory and glycaemic stress and its predictive value for future events.
Methods.
Skin AF was measured in 88 STEMI patients (mean age 64±13 years) within 72 hours and around six months after discharge, in 81 stable coronary artery disease (sCAD) patients (64±10 years), and in 32 healthy controls (63±11 years). The cumulative one-year incidence of all-cause mortality and hospitalisation for myocardial infarction or heart failure was documented.
Results.
Skin AF was significantly higher in STEMI compared with sCAD and controls, irrespective of confounders, and was associated with HbA1c and C-reactive protein. Skin AF decreased significantly in STEMI patients, when measured >200 days after discharge. In STEMI patients, skin AF above the median was predictive of future events (hazard ratio 11.6, 95% CI 1.5 to 90.8, p=0.019).
Conclusion.
Skin AF is elevated in STEMI, is associated with inflammation and glycaemic stress, and predicts future major adverse cardiac events. (Neth Heart J 2009;17:162-8.19421362Neth Heart J 2009;17:162–8.)
PMCID: PMC2669246  PMID: 19421362
myocardial infarction; oxidative stress; inflammation; autofluorescence; advanced glycation endproducts
8.  Long-Term Effects of Intensive Glucose Lowering on Cardiovascular Outcomes 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(9):818-828.
BACKGROUND
Intensive glucose lowering has previously been shown to increase mortality among persons with advanced type 2 diabetes and a high risk of cardiovascular disease. This report describes the 5-year outcomes of a mean of 3.7 years of intensive glucose lowering on mortality and key cardiovascular events.
METHODS
We randomly assigned participants with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease or additional cardiovascular risk factors to receive intensive therapy (targeting a glycated hemoglobin level below 6.0%) or standard therapy (targeting a level of 7 to 7.9%). After termination of the intensive therapy, due to higher mortality in the intensive-therapy group, the target glycated hemoglobin level was 7 to 7.9% for all participants, who were followed until the planned end of the trial.
RESULTS
Before the intensive therapy was terminated, the intensive-therapy group did not differ significantly from the standard-therapy group in the rate of the primary outcome (a composite of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes) (P = 0.13) but had more deaths from any cause (primarily cardiovascular) (hazard ratio, 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.44) and fewer nonfatal myocardial infarctions (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.66 to 0.95). These trends persisted during the entire follow-up period (hazard ratio for death, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.38; and hazard ratio for nonfatal myocardial infarction, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.96). After the intensive intervention was terminated, the median glycated hemoglobin level in the intensive-therapy group rose from 6.4% to 7.2%, and the use of glucose-lowering medications and rates of severe hypoglycemia and other adverse events were similar in the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS
As compared with standard therapy, the use of intensive therapy for 3.7 years to target a glycated hemoglobin level below 6% reduced 5-year nonfatal myocardial infarctions but increased 5-year mortality. Such a strategy cannot be recommended for high-risk patients with advanced type 2 diabetes. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00000620.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1006524
PMCID: PMC4083508  PMID: 21366473
9.  Prognostic value of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in elderly people with acute myocardial infarction: prospective observational study 
Objective To examine the influence of age on the predictive value of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic (NT-proBNP) peptide assay in acute myocardial infarction.
Design Prospective observational study.
Setting All intensive care units in one French region.
Participants 3291 consecutive patients admitted for an acute myocardial infarction, from the RICO survey (a French regional survey for acute myocardial infarction).
Main outcome measure Cardiovascular death at 1 year.
Results Among the 3291 participants, mean age was 68 (SD 14) years and 2356 (72%) were men. In the study population, the median NT-proBNP concentration was 1053 (interquartile range 300-3472) pg/ml. Median values for age quarters 1 to 4 were 367 (119-1050), 696 (201-1950), 1536 (534-4146), and 3774 (1168-9724) pg/ml (P<0.001). A multiple linear regression analysis was done to determine the factors associated with the pro-peptide concentrations in the overall population. NT-proBNP was mainly associated with age, left ventricular ejection fraction, creatinine clearance, female sex, hypertension, diabetes, and anterior wall infarction. At one year’s follow-up, 384 (12%) patients had died from all causes and 372 (11%) from cardiovascular causes. In multivariate analysis, NT-proBNP remained strongly associated with the outcome, beyond traditional risk factors including creatinine clearance and left ventricular ejection fraction, in each age group except in the youngest one (<54 years) (P=0.29). The addition of NT-proBNP significantly improved the performance of the statistical model in the overall study population (−2log likelihood 3179.58 v 3099.74, P<0.001) and in each age quarter including the upper one (1523.52 v 1495.01, P<0.001).The independent discriminative value of NT-proBNP compared with the GRACE score was tested by a diagonal stratification using the median value of the GRACE score and NT-proBNP in older patients (upper quarter). Such stratification strikingly identified a high risk group—patients from the higher NT-proBNP group and with a high risk score—characterised by a risk of death of almost 50% at one year.
Conclusions In this large contemporary non-selected cohort of patients with myocardial infarction, NT-proBNP concentration had incremental prognostic value even in the oldest patients, above and beyond the GRACE risk score and traditional biomarkers after acute myocardial infarction. These data further support the potential interest of clinical trials specifically assessing NT-proBNP measurement as a guide to current treatment strategies, as well as novel strategies, in older patients with acute myocardial infarction.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b1605
PMCID: PMC2678205  PMID: 19420032
10.  Significance of an index of insulin resistance on admission in non-diabetic patients with acute coronary syndromes 
Heart  1999;82(4):443-447.
BACKGROUND—Insulin resistance is associated with ischaemic heart disease and has been proposed as a risk factor for subsequent myocardial infarction.
AIM—To investigate the potential use of a recently proposed insulin resistance index in identifying insulin resistance in patients admitted with an acute coronary syndrome.
METHODS—Single centre study of 441 non-diabetic patients admitted with chest pain to a coronary care unit and followed prospectively for a median of three years for outcome. Admission glucose and insulin concentrations were measured and from these values an admission index of insulin resistance (AIRI) calculated. Its association with other known factors in the insulin resistance syndrome, and subsequent outcome, was examined.
RESULTS—The AIRI was greater in patients with myocardial infarction than in a control group without myocardial infarction (p < 0.0001). A Cox regression model for subsequent cardiac death identified previous myocardial infarction (p < 0.0001), infarct size (p < 0.0001), and AIRI (p = 0.0033) as positive risk predictors. Patients of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin had greater AIRI values than white patients: mean (SD) 7.5 (1.3) v 4.6 (0.2), p < 0.001.
CONCLUSIONS—A simple index of insulin resistance measured on patients admitted with myocardial infarction provides an important predictive measure of poor outcome and is superior to admission glucose measurement. It may be useful in identifying patients admitted with myocardial infarction who could benefit from alternative early management strategies.


Keywords: myocardial infarction; unstable angina; insulin resistance; glucose
PMCID: PMC1760262  PMID: 10490558
11.  Stroke Location and Association With Fatal Cardiac Outcomes 
Background and Purpose
Cardiac mortality after stroke is common, and small studies have suggested an association of short-term cardiac mortality with insular location of cerebral infarction. Few population-based studies with long-term follow-up have evaluated the effect of stroke location on the long-term risk of cardiac death or myocardial infarction (MI) after first ischemic stroke. We sought to determine the association between stroke location and cardiac death or MI in a multiethnic community-based cohort.
Methods
The Northern Manhattan Study is a population-based study designed to determine stroke incidence, risk factors, and prognosis in a multiethnic urban population. First ischemic stroke patients age 40 or older were prospectively followed up for cardiac death defined as fatal MI, fatal congestive heart failure, or sudden death/arrhythmia and for nonfatal MI. Primary brain anatomic site was determined by consensus of research neurologists. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were calculated by Cox proportional-hazards models and adjusted for vascular risk factors (age, sex, history of coronary disease, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, and smoking), stroke severity, infarct size, and stroke etiology.
Results
The study population consisted of 655 patients whose mean age was 69.7 ± 12.7 years; 44.6% were men and 51.3% were Hispanic. During a median follow-up of 4.0 years, 44 patients (6.7%) had fatal cardiac events. Of these, fatal MI occurred in 38.6%, fatal congestive heart failure in 18.2%, and sudden death in 43.2%. In multivariate models, clinical diagnosis of left parietal lobe infarction was associated with cardiac death (adjusted HR = 4.45; 95% CI, 1.83 to 10.83) and cardiac death or MI (adjusted HR = 3.30; 95% CI, 1.45 to 7.51). When analysis of anatomic location was restricted to neuroimaging (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or both [n = 447]), left parietal lobe infarction was associated with cardiac death (adjusted HR = 3.37; 95% CI, 1.26 to 8.97), and both left (adjusted HR = 3.49; 95% CI, 1.38 to 8.80) and right (adjusted HR = 3.13; 95% CI, 1.04 to 9.45) parietal lobe infarctions were associated with cardiac death or MI. We did not find an association between frontal, temporal, or insular stroke and fatal cardiac events, although the number of purely insular strokes was small.
Conclusions
Parietal lobe infarction is an independent predictor of long-term cardiac death or MI in this population. Further studies are needed to confirm whether parietal lobe infarction is an independent predictor of cardiac events and death. Surveillance for cardiac disease and implementation of cardioprotective therapies may reduce cardiac mortality in patients with parietal stroke.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.506055
PMCID: PMC4112463  PMID: 18635863
acute stroke; cardiac arrhythmia; epidemiology; sudden death
12.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Cardiovascular Events and All-Cause Mortality: A Decade-Long Historical Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001599.
Tetyana Kendzerska and colleagues explore the association between physiological measures of obstructive sleep apnea other than the apnea-hypopnea index and the risk of cardiovascular events.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been reported to be a risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) disease. Although the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is the most commonly used measure of OSA, other less well studied OSA-related variables may be more pathophysiologically relevant and offer better prediction. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between OSA-related variables and risk of CV events.
Methods and Findings
A historical cohort study was conducted using clinical database and health administrative data. Adults referred for suspected OSA who underwent diagnostic polysomnography at the sleep laboratory at St Michael's Hospital (Toronto, Canada) between 1994 and 2010 were followed through provincial health administrative data (Ontario, Canada) until May 2011 to examine the occurrence of a composite outcome (myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, revascularization procedures, or death from any cause). Cox regression models were used to investigate the association between baseline OSA-related variables and composite outcome controlling for traditional risk factors. The results were expressed as hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs; for continuous variables, HRs compare the 75th and 25th percentiles. Over a median follow-up of 68 months, 1,172 (11.5%) of 10,149 participants experienced our composite outcome. In a fully adjusted model, other than AHI OSA-related variables were significant independent predictors: time spent with oxygen saturation <90% (9 minutes versus 0; HR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.25–1.79), sleep time (4.9 versus 6.4 hours; HR = 1.20, 95% CI 1.12–1.27), awakenings (35 versus 18; HR = 1.06, 95% CI 1.02–1.10), periodic leg movements (13 versus 0/hour; HR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.03–1.07), heart rate (70 versus 56 beats per minute [bpm]; HR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.19–1.37), and daytime sleepiness (HR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.01–1.28).The main study limitation was lack of information about continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) adherence.
Conclusion
OSA-related factors other than AHI were shown as important predictors of composite CV outcome and should be considered in future studies and clinical practice.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep-related breathing disorder, particularly among middle-aged and elderly people. It is characterized by apnea—a brief interruption in breathing that lasts at least 10 seconds—and hypopnea—a decrease of more than 50% in the amplitude of breathing that lasts at least 10 seconds or clear but smaller decrease in amplitude associated with either oxygen desaturation or an arousal. Patients with OSA experience numerous episodes of apnea and hypopnea during the night; severe OSA is defined as having 30 or more episodes per hour (an apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] of >30). These breathing interruptions occur when relaxation of the upper airway muscles decreases the airflow, which lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood. As a result, affected individuals frequently wake from deep sleep as they struggle to breathe. Symptoms of OSA include loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. Treatments include lifestyle changes such as losing weight (excess fat around the neck increases airway collapse) and smoking cessation. For severe OSA, doctors recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in which a machine blows pressurized air through a face mask into the airway to keep it open.
Why Was This Study Done?
OSA can be life-threatening. Most directly, daytime sleepiness can cause accidents, but OSA is also associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD, disease that affects the heart and the circulation). To date, studies that have investigated the association between OSA and the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), congestive heart failure, stroke, and other CVDs have used the AHI to diagnose and categorize the severity of OSA. However, by focussing on AHI, clinicians and researchers may be missing opportunities to improve their ability to predict which patients are at the highest risk of CVD. In this historical cohort study, the researchers investigate the association between other OSA-related variables (for example, blood oxygen saturation and sleep fragmentation) and the risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality (death). A historical cohort study examines the medical records of groups of individuals who have different characteristics at baseline for the subsequent occurrence of specific outcomes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used administrative data (including hospitalization records and physicians' claims for services supplied to patients) to follow up adults referred for suspected OSA who underwent diagnostic polysomnography (a sleep study) at a single Canadian hospital between 1994 and 2010. A database of the polysomnography results provided information on OSA-related variables for all the study participants. Over an average follow-up of about 6 years, 11.5% of the 10,149 participants were hospitalized for a myocardial infarction, stroke, or congestive heart failure, underwent a revascularization procedure (an intervention that restores the blood supply to an organ or tissue after CVD has blocked a blood vessel), or had died from any cause. After adjusting for multiple established risk factors for CVD such as smoking and age in Cox regression models (a statistical approach that examines associations between patient variables and outcomes), several OSA-related variables (but not AHI) were significant predictors of CVD. The strongest OSA-related predictor of cardiovascular events or all-cause mortality was total sleep time spent with oxygen saturation below 90%, which increased the risk of a cardiovascular event or death by 50%. Other statistically significant OSA-related predictors (predictors that were unlikely to be associated with the outcome through chance) of cardiovascular events or death included total sleep time, number of awakenings, frequency of periodic leg movements, heart rate, and daytime sleepiness.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that OSA-related factors other than AHI are important predictors of the composite outcome of a cardiovascular event or all-cause mortality. Indeed, although AHI was significantly associated with the researchers' composite outcome in an analysis that did not consider other established risk factors for CVD (“confounders”), the association became non-significant after controlling for potential confounders. The accuracy of these findings, which need to be confirmed in other settings, is likely to be limited by the lack of information available about the use of CPAP by study participants and by the lack of adjustment for some important confounders. Importantly, however, these findings suggest that OSA-related factors other than AHI should be considered as predictors of CVD in future studies and in clinical practice.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001599.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has information (including several videos) about obstructive sleep apnea (in English and Spanish), sleep studies, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases (some information in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information (including personal stories) about sleep apnea and about cardiovascular disease
The not-for-profit American Sleep Apnea Association provides detailed information about sleep apnea for patients and health-care professionals, including personal stories about the condition
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on obstructive sleep apnea and on polysomnography; MedlinePlus provides links to further information and advice about obstructive sleep apnea, heart diseases, and vascular diseases (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001599
PMCID: PMC3913558  PMID: 24503600
13.  Neuroendocrine prediction of left ventricular function and heart failure after acute myocardial infarction 
Heart  1999;81(2):114-120.
Objective—To determine the relations of plasma levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), N-terminal ANF (N-ANF), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP; the cardiac peptide second messenger), and plasma catecholamines to left ventricular function and to prognosis in patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction.
Design—Plasma hormones and ventricular function (radionuclide ventriculography) were measured 1-4 days after myocardial infarction in 220 patients admitted to a single coronary care unit. Radionuclide scanning was repeated 3-5 months after infarction. Clinical events were recorded over a mean period of 14 months.
Results—Both early and late left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were most closely related to plasma BNP (r = −0.60, n = 220, p < 0.001; and r = −0.53, n = 192, p < 0.001, respectively), followed by ANF, N-ANF, cGMP, and the plasma catecholamines. Early plasma BNP concentrations less than twofold the upper limit of normal (20 pmol/l) had 100% negative predictive value for LVEF < 40% at 3-5 months after infarction. In multivariate analysis incorporating all the neurohormonal factors, only BNP remained independently predictive of LVEF < 40% (p < 0.005). Survival analysis by median levels of candidate predictors identified BNP as the most powerful discriminator for death (p < 0.0001). No early deaths (within 4 months) occurred in patients with plasma BNP concentrations below the group median (27 pmol/l), and over follow up only three of 26 deaths occurred in this subgroup. Of all episodes of left ventricular failure, 85% occurred in patients with plasma BNP above the median (p < 0.001). In multivariate analyses, BNP alone gave additional predictive information beyond sex, age, clinical history, LVEF, and plasma noradrenaline for both subsequent onset of LVF and death.
Conclusions—Plasma BNP measured within 1-4 days of acute myocardial infarction is a powerful independent predictor of left ventricular function, heart failure, or death over the subsequent 14 months, and superior to ANF, N-ANF, cGMP, and plasma catecholamines.

 Keywords: cardiac natriuretic peptides; noradrenaline; myocardial infarction; heart failure
PMCID: PMC1728940  PMID: 9922344
14.  Plasma adrenomedullin as an indicator of prognosis after acute myocardial infarction 
Heart  1999;81(5):483-487.
OBJECTIVE—To elucidate whether prognosis after acute myocardial infarction can be predicted by measuring plasma adrenomedullin, a novel vasorelaxant peptide.
PATIENTS AND DESIGN—Plasma adrenomedullin concentrations on day 2 after myocardial infarction were measured in 113 patients with myocardial infarction with other clinical and haemodynamic variables related to mortality.
RESULTS—During a mean follow up period of 25 months, 16 patients died of cardiac causes. Plasma adrenomedullin concentrations on day 2 increased significantly in patients with myocardial infarction compared with controls (mean (SD), 12.3 (8.8) v 4.9 (1.0) pmol/l, p < 0.001). Plasma adrenomedullin correlated negatively with left ventricular ejection fraction on admission (r = −0.47, p < 0.001), although it did not significantly correlate with any other haemodynamic variable. By univariate Cox proportional hazards analysis, plasma adrenomedullin, age, coronary reperfusion, maximum creatine kinase concentrations, pulmonary congestion, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, cardiac index, and left ventricular ejection fraction were all significantly related to mortality. Among the non-invasive variables, only plasma adrenomedullin was an independent predictor of mortality after myocardial infarction (p < 0.05). The Kaplan-Meier survival curves based on the median plasma adrenomedullin concentration (10.3 pmol/l) showed that patients with high plasma adrenomedullin had a higher mortality than those with low plasma adrenomedullin (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS—Plasma adrenomedullin on day 2 after myocardial infarction is strongly associated with long term mortality, and thus may complement standard prognostic indicators.


Keywords: prognosis; adrenomedullin; myocardial infarction; heart failure
PMCID: PMC1729034  PMID: 10212165
15.  Post-infarction exercise testing in patients under 55 years. Relation between ischaemic abnormalities and the extent of coronary artery disease. 
British Heart Journal  1986;55(1):67-74.
Previous studies have suggested that the early post-infarction exercise test is useful in predicting the extent of coronary artery disease. The results of a heart rate limited exercise test three weeks after infarction and a symptom limited exercise test six weeks after infarction obtained by both standard lead electrocardiograms and 16 lead precordial maps were compared in 100 consecutive survivors of acute myocardial infarction under 55 years of age. Exercise tests were defined as being positive on the basis of angina, ST segment depression greater than or equal to 1 mm in any electrocardiogram lead, or exertional hypotension. Multivessel disease, that is two or three vessel disease, was present in 60 patients, and three vessel disease in 22 patients. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value for multivessel disease of the three week test were 38%, 83%, and 76% respectively; and results for the six week test were 55%, 75%, and 77% respectively. Only 32% of patients with three vessel disease were identified at the three week test, and 59% at the six week test. Significantly more patients with multivessel and three vessel disease were identified by the symptom limited six week test. Precordial mapping offered no advantages over the standard 12 lead electrocardiogram in either the identification of patients with multivessel disease or the prediction of the distribution of coronary artery disease. Angina pectoris during the exercise test at six weeks was the single most useful predictor of multivessel disease. Multivessel disease was found in 27 (87%) of the 31 patients with angina with or without ST depression during the test at six weeks compared with 33 (48%) of the 69 patients who did not have angina during the test at six weeks. Exercise testing in the early post-infarction period in patients under 55 years of age is of limited value in predicting the extent of coronary artery disease. It is, therefore, unreasonable to use such exercise tests to select patients for coronary arteriography after myocardial infarction. None the less angina pectoris occurring during a symptom limited exercise test six weeks after infarction is a strong predictor of multivessel disease, and coronary arteriography is recommended in these patients.
PMCID: PMC1232070  PMID: 3947484
16.  Value of N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide in predicting prognosis and severity of coronary artery disease in acute coronary syndrome 
Background
Measurement of N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in the evaluation of patients with acute coronary syndrome has appeared to be a useful prognostic marker of cardiovascular risk.
Aim of the work
To assess the in-hospital prognostic value of NT-proBNP in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and its relation to the severity of coronary artery disease.
Patients and methods
This study included 132 consecutive patients with ACS, 64 patients with unstable angina (UA), 46 patients with non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and 22 patients with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). ECG, echocardiography and pre and post coronary angiography measurement of troponin I, creatine kinase (Ck), C-reactive protein (CRP) and NT-proBNP were done. Patients were divided into two groups: Group A with NT-proBNP less than 474 pg/ml and Group B with NT-proBNP equal or more than 474 pg/ml.
Results
There was a significant negative correlation between NT-proBNP and ejection fraction. Incidence of heart failure and duration of hospital stay were significantly higher in Group B (with NT-proBNP equal or more than 474 pg/ml) than Group A (with NT-proBNP less than 474 pg/ml). Moreover, there was a trend to an increased incidence of cardiogenic shock and mortality in Group B compared to Group A. The number of coronary vessels affected, severity of stenosis and proximal left anterior descending artery (LAD) disease were higher in Group B than in Group A. TIMI flow grade was significantly higher in Group A than in Group B.
Conclusion
NT-proBNP is a valuable marker for predicting prognosis and severity of coronary artery disease in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
doi:10.1016/j.jsha.2014.04.004
PMCID: PMC4179900  PMID: 25278720
Brain natriuretic peptid; Coronary artery disease; Acute coronary syndrome
17.  High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Events after ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction 
Background
The association between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and recurrent major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction who undergo primary percutaneous coronary intervention remains controversial.
Objective
To investigate the potential association between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and an increased risk of MACE such as death, heart failure, reinfarction, and new revascularization in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention.
Methods
This prospective cohort study included 300 individuals aged >18 years who were diagnosed with ST-elevation myocardial infarction and underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention at a tertiary health center. An instrument evaluating clinical variables and the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) and Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) risk scores was used. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein was determined by nephelometry. The patients were followed-up during hospitalization and up to 30 days after infarction for the occurrence of MACE. Student's t, Mann-Whitney, chi-square, and logistic regression tests were used for statistical analyses. P values of ≤0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results
The mean age was 59.76 years, and 69.3% of patients were male. No statistically significant association was observed between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and recurrent MACE (p = 0.11). However, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was independently associated with 30-day mortality when adjusted for TIMI [odds ratio (OR), 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.07-1.51; p = 0.005] and GRACE (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.06-1.49; p = 0.007) risk scores.
Conclusion
Although high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was not predictive of combined major cardiovascular events within 30 days after ST-elevation myocardial infarction in patients who underwent primary angioplasty and stent implantation, it was an independent predictor of 30-day mortality.
doi:10.5935/abc.20140086
PMCID: PMC4126763  PMID: 25120085
Protein C; Myocardial Infarction / mortality; Electrocardiography; Diagnosis; Prognosis
18.  Relationship Between Obesity and N-Terminal Brain Natriuretic Peptide Level as a Prognostic Value After Acute Myocardial Infarction 
Korean Circulation Journal  2010;40(11):558-564.
Background and Objectives
Recently, the prognostic value of N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in acute coronary syndrome has been demonstrated in many studies. However, NT-proBNP levels are influenced by various factors such as sex, age, renal function, heart failure severity, and obesity. NT-proBNP concentrations tend to decrease with higher body mass index (BMI). The aim of this study was to examine the influence of obesity on NT-proBNP as a predictive prognostic factor in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients.
Subjects and Methods
Using data from the Korea Acute Myocardial Infarction Registry (January 2005 to September 2008), 2,736 AMI patients were included in this study. These patients were divided into men (n=1,972, 70%) and women (n=764, 30%), and were grouped according to their BMIs. Major adverse cardiac events (MACE) during 1 year clinical follow-up were evaluated.
Results
NT-proBNP was significantly higher in lower BMI (p<0.001). Mean NT-proBNP levels of each obesity group were 2,393±4,022 pg/mL in the lean group (n=875), 1,506±3,074 pg/mL in the overweight group (n=724) and 1,100±1,137 pg/mL in the obese group (n=1,137) (p<0.01). NT-proBNP was an independent prognostic factor of AMI in obese patients by multivariative analysis of independent risk factors of MACE (p=0.01).
Conclusion
NT-proBNP is lower in obese AMI patients than in non-obese AMI patients, but NT-proBNP is still of independent prognostic value in obese AMI patients.
doi:10.4070/kcj.2010.40.11.558
PMCID: PMC3008826  PMID: 21217932
Brain natriuretic peptide; Obesity; Myocardial infarction
19.  Threshold Haemoglobin Levels and the Prognosis of Stable Coronary Disease: Two New Cohorts and a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1000439.
Anoop Shah and colleagues performed a retrospective cohort study and a systematic review, and show evidence that in people with stable coronary disease there were threshold hemoglobin values below which mortality increased in a graded, continuous fashion.
Background
Low haemoglobin concentration has been associated with adverse prognosis in patients with angina and myocardial infarction (MI), but the strength and shape of the association and the presence of any threshold has not been precisely evaluated.
Methods and findings
A retrospective cohort study was carried out using the UK General Practice Research Database. 20,131 people with a new diagnosis of stable angina and no previous acute coronary syndrome, and 14,171 people with first MI who survived for at least 7 days were followed up for a mean of 3.2 years. Using semi-parametric Cox regression and multiple adjustment, there was evidence of threshold haemoglobin values below which mortality increased in a graded continuous fashion. For men with MI, the threshold value was 13.5 g/dl (95% confidence interval [CI] 13.2–13.9); the 29.5% of patients with haemoglobin below this threshold had an associated hazard ratio for mortality of 2.00 (95% CI 1.76–2.29) compared to those with haemoglobin values in the lowest risk range. Women tended to have lower threshold haemoglobin values (e.g, for MI 12.8 g/dl; 95% CI 12.1–13.5) but the shape and strength of association did not differ between the genders, nor between patients with angina and MI. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis that identified ten previously published studies, reporting a total of only 1,127 endpoints, but none evaluated thresholds of risk.
Conclusions
There is an association between low haemoglobin concentration and increased mortality. A large proportion of patients with coronary disease have haemoglobin concentrations below the thresholds of risk defined here. Intervention trials would clarify whether increasing the haemoglobin concentration reduces mortality.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Coronary artery disease is the main cause of death in high-income countries and the second most common cause of death in middle- and low-income countries, accounting for 16.3%, 13.9%, and 9.4% of all deaths, respectively, in 2004. Many risks factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol level, are known to be associated with coronary artery disease, and prevention and treatment of such factors remains one of the key strategies in the management of coronary artery disease. Recent studies have suggested that low hemoglobin may be associated with mortality in patients with coronary artery disease. Therefore, using blood hemoglobin level as a prognostic biomarker for patients with stable coronary artery disease may be of potential benefit especially as measurement of hemoglobin is almost universal in such patients and there are available interventions that effectively increase hemoglobin concentration.
Why was This Study Done?
Much more needs to be understood about the relationship between low hemoglobin and coronary artery disease before hemoglobin levels can potentially be used as a clinical prognostic biomarker. Previous studies have been limited in their ability to describe the shape of this relationship—which means that it is uncertain whether there is a “best” hemoglobin threshold or a continuous graded relationship from “good” to “bad”—to assess gender differences, and to compare patients with angina or who have experienced previous myocardial infarction. In order to inform these knowledge gaps, the researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of patients from a prospective observational cohort as well as a systematic review and meta-analysis (statistical analysis) of previous studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of previous studies and found ten relevant studies, but none evaluated thresholds of risk, only linear relationships.
The researchers carried out a new study using the UK's General Practice Research Database—a national research tool that uses anonymized electronic clinical records of a representative sample of the UK population, with details of consultations, diagnoses, referrals, prescriptions, and test results—as the basis for their analysis. They identified and collected information from two cohorts of patients: those with new onset stable angina and no previous acute coronary syndrome; and those with a first myocardial infarction (heart attack). For these patients, the researchers also looked at all values of routinely recorded blood parameters (including hemoglobin) and information on established cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking. The researchers followed up patients using death of any cause as a primary endpoint and put this data into a statistical model to identify upper and lower thresholds of an optimal hemoglobin range beyond which mortality risk increased.
The researchers found that there was a threshold hemoglobin value below which mortality continuously increased in a graded manner. For men with myocardial infarction, the threshold value was 13.5 g/dl: 29.5% of patients had hemoglobin below this threshold and had a hazard ratio for mortality of 2.00 compared to those with hemoglobin values in the lowest risk range. Women had a lower threshold hemoglobin value than men: 12.8 g/dl for women with myocardial infarction, but the shape and strength of association did not differ between the genders, or between patients with angina and myocardial infarction.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that there are thresholds of hemoglobin that are associated with increased risk of mortality in patients with angina or myocardial infarction. A substantial proportion of patients (15%–30%) have a hemoglobin level that places them at markedly higher risk of death compared to patients with lowest risk hemoglobin levels and importantly, these thresholds are higher than clinicians might anticipate—and are remarkably similar to World Health Organization anemia thresholds of 12 g/dl for women and 13 g/dl for men. Despite the limitations of these observational findings, this study supports the rationale for conducting future randomized controlled trials to assess whether hemoglobin levels are causal and whether clinicians should intervene to increase hemoglobin levels, for example by oral iron supplementation.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000439.
Wikipedia provides information about hemoglobin (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The World Health Organization provides an overview of the global prevalence of coronary artery disease, a factsheet on the top ten causes of death, as well as information on anemia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000439
PMCID: PMC3104976  PMID: 21655315
20.  N-Terminal Fragment of the Prohormone Brain-Type Natriuretic Peptide (NT-proBNP), Cardiovascular Events, and Mortality in Patients With Stable Coronary Heart Disease 
Context
Identification of individuals at high risk for cardiovascular events is important for the optimal use of primary and secondary prevention measures.
Objective
To determine whether plasma levels of amino terminal fragment of the prohormone brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) predict cardiovascular events or death independent of other available prognostic tests.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Prospective cohort study (2000–2002) of 987 individuals in California with stable coronary heart disease in the Heart and Soul Study, who were followed up for a mean of 3.7 (range, 0.1–5.3) years.
Main Outcome Measures
The association of baseline NT-proBNP levels with death or cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, or heart failure). Traditional clinical risk factors, echocardiographic measures, ischemia, other biomarkers, and New York Heart Association classification were adjusted for to determine whether NT-proBNP levels were independent of other prognostic factors. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to assess the incremental prognostic value of adding NT-proBNP level to these other measures.
Results
A total of 256 participants (26.2%) had a cardiovascular event or died. Each increasing quartile of NT-proBNP level (range of quartile 1, 8.06–73.95 pg/mL; quartile 2, 74–174.5 pg/mL; quartile 3, 175.1–459 pg/mL; quartile 4, ≥460 pg/mL) was associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular events or death, ranging from 23 of 247 (annual event rate, 2.6%) in the lowest quartile to 134 of 246 (annual event rate, 19.6%) in the highest quartile (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR] for quartile 4 vs quartile 1, 7.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.0–12.1; P<.001). Each SD increase in log NT-proBNP level (1.3 pg/mL) was associated with a 2.3-fold increased rate of adverse cardiovascular outcomes (unadjusted HR, 2.3; 95% CI, 2.0–2.6; P<.001), and this association persisted after adjustment for all of the other prognostic measures (adjusted HR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3–2.2; P<.001). The addition of NT-proBNP level to standard clinical assessment and complete echocardiographic parameters significantly improved the area under the ROC curves for predicting subsequent adverse cardiovascular outcomes (0.80 for clinical risk factors and echocardiographic parameters plus log NT-proBNP vs 0.76 for clinical risk factors and echocardiographic parameters only; P=.006).
Conclusions
Elevated levels of NT-proBNP predict cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, independent of other prognostic markers, and identify at-risk individuals even in the absence of systolic or diastolic dysfunction by echocardiography. Level of NT-proBNP may help guide risk stratification of high-risk individuals, such as those with coronary heart disease.
doi:10.1001/jama.297.2.169
PMCID: PMC2848442  PMID: 17213400
21.  Five year prognosis in patients with angina identified in primary care: incident cohort study 
Objective To ascertain the risk of acute myocardial infarction, invasive cardiac procedures, and mortality among patients with newly diagnosed angina over five years.
Design Incident cohort study of patients with primary care data linked to secondary care and mortality data.
Setting 40 primary care practices in Scotland.
Participants 1785 patients with a diagnosis of angina as their first manifestation of ischaemic heart disease, 1 January 1998 to 31 December 2001.
Main outcome measures Adjusted hazard ratios for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, death from ischaemic heart disease, and all cause mortality, adjusted for demographics, lifestyle risk factors, and comorbidity at cohort entry.
Results Mean age was 62.3 (SD 11.3). Male sex was associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (hazard ratio 2.01, 95% confidence interval 1.35 to 2.97), death from ischaemic heart disease (2.80, 1.73 to 4.53), and all cause mortality (1.82, 1.33 to 2.49). Increasing age was associated with acute myocardial infarction (1.04, 1.02 to 1.06, per year of age increase), death from ischaemic heart disease (1.09, 1.06 to 1.11, per year of age increase), and all cause mortality (1.09, 1.07 to 1.11, per year of age increase). Smoking was associated with subsequent acute myocardial infarction (1.94, 1.31 to 2.89), death from ischaemic heart disease (2.12, 1.32 to 3.39), and all cause mortality (2.11, 1.52 to 2.95). Obesity was associated with death from ischaemic heart disease (2.01, 1.17 to 3.45) and all cause mortality (2.20, 1.52 to 3.19). Previous stroke was associated with all cause mortality (1.78, 1.13 to 2.80) and chronic kidney disease with death from ischaemic heart disease (5.72, 1.74 to 18.79). Men were more likely than women to have coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty after a diagnosis of angina; older people were less likely to receive percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. Acute myocardial infarction after a diagnosis of angina was associated with an increased risk of death from ischaemic heart disease and all cause mortality (8.84 (5.31 to 14.71) and 4.23 (2.78 to 6.43), respectively). Neither of the invasive cardiac procedures significantly reduced the subsequent risk of all cause mortality.
Conclusions In this sample of people with incident angina from primary care, there were sex differences in survival and age and sex differences in the provision of revascularisation after a diagnosis. Acute myocardial infarction after a diagnosis of angina was strongly predictive of mortality. To minimise adverse outcomes, optimal preventive treatments should be used in patients with angina.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b3058
PMCID: PMC2722695  PMID: 19661139
22.  Fluorescent Advanced Glycation End Products and Their Soluble Receptor: The Birth of New Plasmatic Biomarkers for Risk Stratification of Acute Coronary Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74302.
Objective
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) have pathophysiological implications in cardiovascular diseases. The aim of our study was to evaluate the prognostic value of fluorescent AGEs and its soluble receptor (sRAGE) in the context of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), both in-hospital phase and follow-up period.
Methods
A prospective clinical study was performed in patients with debut’s ACS. The endpoints were the development of cardiac events (cardiac deaths, re-infarction and new-onset heart failure) during in-hospital phase and follow-up period (366 days, inter-quartile range: 273–519 days). 215 consecutive ACS patients admitted to the coronary care unit (62.7±13.0 years, 24.2% female) were included. 47.4% had a diagnosis of ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. AGEs and sRAGE were analysed by fluorescence spectroscopy and competitive ELISA, respectively. Risk scores (GRACE, TIMI, PURSUIT) were calculated retrospectively using prospective data. The complexity of coronary artery disease was evaluated by SYNTAX score.
Results
The mean fluorescent AGEs and sRAGE levels were 57.7±45.1 AU and 1045.4±850.0 pg/mL, respectively. 19 patients presented cardiac events during in-hospital phase and 29 during the follow-up. In-hospital cardiac events were significantly associated with higher sRAGE levels (p = 0.001), but not long-term cardiac events (p = 0.365). Regarding fluorescent AGE the opposite happened. After multivariate analysis correcting by gender, left ventricular ejection fraction, glucose levels, haemoglobin, GRACE and SYNTAX scores, sRAGE was significantly associated with in-hospital prognosis, whereas fluorescent AGEs was significantly associated with long-term prognosis.
Conclusions
We conclude that elevated values of sRAGE are associated with worse in-hospital prognosis, whereas high fluorescent AGE levels are associated with more follow-up events.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074302
PMCID: PMC3772878  PMID: 24058542
23.  Depressive Symptom Dimensions and Cardiovascular Prognosis among Women with Suspected Myocardial Ischemia: A Report from the NHLBI-Sponsored WISE Study 
Archives of general psychiatry  2009;66(5):499-507.
Context:
Symptoms of depression and cardiovascular disease overlap substantially. Differentiating between dimensions of depressive symptoms may improve our understanding of the relationship between depression and physical health.
Objective:
To compare symptom dimensions of depression as predictors of cardiovascular-related death and events among women with suspected myocardial ischemia.
Design:
Cohort study of women with suspected myocardial ischemia who were evaluated at baseline for history of cardiovascular-related problems, depressive symptoms using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and coronary artery disease severity via coronary angiogram. Principal components analyses (PCA) of the BDI items were conducted to examine differential cardiovascular prognosis according to symptom dimensions of depression.
Setting:
The Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE), a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)–sponsored multi-center study assessing cardiovascular function using state-of-the-art techniques in women referred for coronary angiography to evaluate chest pain or suspected myocardial ischemia.
Participants:
550 women (mean age = 58.4 [11.2] years) enrolled in WISE and followed for a median of 5.8 years.
Main Outcome Measures:
Cardiovascular-related mortality and events (stroke, myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure).
Results:
Using a three-factor structure from PCA, somatic/affective (hazards ratio [HR]=1.35, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.04-1.74) and appetitive (HR=1.42, 95%CI=1.21-1.68) but not cognitive/affective (HR=.89, 95%CI=.70-1.14) symptoms predicted cardiovascular prognosis in adjusted multivariate Cox regression analysis. Using a two-factor structure from PCA, adjusted results indicated that somatic (HR=1.63, 95% CI=1.28-2.08) but not cognitive/affective (HR=.87, 95% CI=.68-1.11) symptoms predicted worse prognosis.
Conclusions:
In a sample of women with suspected myocardial ischemia, somatic but not cognitive/affective depressive symptoms were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular-related mortality and events. These results support the need to research dimensions of depression in CVD populations and have implications for understanding the connection between depression and CVD.
Unstructured Abstract
Differentiating between dimensions of depressive symptoms may improve our understanding of the relationship between depression and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study examined depressive symptom dimensions as predictors of cardiovascular-related death and events among women undergoing coronary angiography to evaluate suspected myocardial ischemia (n=550; mean age=58.4 [11.2] years). Baseline evaluation included depressive symptom assessment using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and coronary artery disease severity testing via coronary angiogram. Incidence of the women's cardiovascular-related mortality and events (stroke, myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure) was tracked for a median of 5.8 years. Principal components analyses (PCA) of the 21 BDI items were conducted to derive depression symptom dimensions. Using a three-factor structure, somatic/affective (HR=1.35, 95%CI=1.04-1.74) and appetitive (HR=1.42, 95%CI=1.21-1.68) but not cognitive/affective (HR=.89, 95%CI=.70-1.14) symptoms predicted cardiovascular prognosis in adjusted multivariate Cox regression analysis. Using a two-factor structure, adjusted results indicated that somatic (HR=1.63, 95% CI=1.28-2.08) but not cognitive/affective (HR=.87, 95% CI=.68-1.11) symptoms predicted prognosis. Thus, in a sample of women with suspected myocardial ischemia, somatic but not cognitive/affective depressive symptoms were associated with worse cardiovascular prognosis. These results support the need to research depressive symptom dimensions in CVD populations and have implications for understanding the connection between depression and CVD.
doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.27
PMCID: PMC2697960  PMID: 19414709
24.  High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T: Risk Stratification Tool in Patients with Symptoms of Chest Discomfort 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35059.
Background
Recent studies have demonstrated the association between increased concentrations of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) and the incidence of myocardial infarction, heart failure, and mortality. However, most prognostic studies to date focus on the value of hs-cTnT in the elderly or general population. The value of hs-cTnT in symptomatic patients visiting the outpatient department remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of hs-cTnT as a biomarker in patients with symptoms of chest discomfort suspected for coronary artery disease and to assess its additional value in combination with other risk stratification tools in predicting cardiac events.
Methods
We studied 1,088 patients (follow-up 2.2±0.8 years) with chest discomfort who underwent coronary calcium scoring and coronary CT-angiography. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors and concentrations of hs-cTnT, N-terminal pro-brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were assessed. Study endpoint was the occurrence of late coronary revascularization (>90 days), acute coronary syndrome, and cardiac mortality.
Results
Hs-cTnT was a significant predictor for the composite endpoint (highest quartile [Q4]>6.7 ng/L, HR 3.55; 95%CI 1.88–6.70; P<0.001). Survival analysis showed that hs-cTnT had significant predictive value on top of current risk stratification tools (Chi-square change P<0.01). In patients with hs-cTnT in Q4 versus
Conclusions
Hs-cTnT is a useful prognostic biomarker in patients with chest discomfort suspected for coronary artery disease. In addition, hs-cTnT was an independent predictor for cardiac events when corrected for cardiovascular risk profiling, calcium score and CT-angiography results.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035059
PMCID: PMC3338816  PMID: 22558116
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31343.
Background
Platelet-derived chemokines are implicated in several aspects of vascular biology. However, for the chemokine platelet factor 4 variant (PF-4var/CXCL4L1), released by platelets during thrombosis and with different properties as compared to PF-4/CXCL4, its role in heart disease is not yet studied. We evaluated the determinants and prognostic value of the platelet-derived chemokines PF-4var, PF-4 and RANTES/CCL5 in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methodology/Principal Findings
From 205 consecutive patients with stable CAD and preserved left ventricular (LV) function, blood samples were taken at inclusion and were analyzed for PF-4var, RANTES, platelet factor-4 and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). Patients were followed (median follow-up 2.5 years) for the combined endpoint of cardiac death, non-fatal acute myocardial infarction, stroke or hospitalization for heart failure. Independent determinants of PF-4var levels (median 10 ng/ml; interquartile range 8–16 ng/ml) were age, gender and circulating platelet number. Patients who experienced cardiac events (n = 20) during follow-up showed lower levels of PF-4var (8.5 [5.3–10] ng/ml versus 12 [8–16] ng/ml, p = 0.033). ROC analysis for events showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.82 (95% CI 0.73–0.90, p<0.001) for higher NT-proBNP levels and an AUC of 0.32 (95% CI 0.19–0.45, p = 0.009) for lower PF-4var levels. Cox proportional hazard analysis showed that PF-4var has an independent prognostic value on top of NT-proBNP.
Conclusions
We conclude that low PF-4var/CXCL4L1 levels are associated with a poor outcome in patients with stable CAD and preserved LV function. This prognostic value is independent of NT-proBNP levels, suggesting that both neurohormonal and platelet-related factors determine outcome in these patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031343
PMCID: PMC3285621  PMID: 22384011

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