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High incidence of elevated B-type natriuretic peptide levels and risk factors for heart failure in an unselected at-risk population (stage A): implications for heart failure screening programs

High incidence of elevated B-type natriuretic peptide levels and risk factors for heart failure in an unselected at-risk population (stage A): implications for heart failure screening programs

Congestive Heart Failure 9(3): 127-132

Only early detection and treatment is likely to stem the current epidemic of heart failure (HF). Several common cardiovascular and metabolic conditions increase the risk of developing symptomatic HF, but its detection by a simple and reliable screening method has proved elusive. HF screening sessions were conducted in September and November 2001. Members of the community with HF risk factors (e.g., hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia) were invited--all specifically without a history of HF. The screening included a history review, health history questionnaire, measurement of blood pressure and pulse, as well as a measurement of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level. A total of 233 individuals attended these two sessions: 108 men and 125 women (mean age, 63 years). Of the 233 subjects screened, the majority (92%) had >or=1 risk factor with an average of 2.8 risk factors for HF. The most common risks included hyperlipidemia (112), hypertension (112), age >65 years (105), cigarette smoking (105), coronary artery disease (60), and diabetes mellitus (54). Many subjects also had symptoms consistent with HF, with most (182, 82%) recording >or=1 symptom. Blood pressure measurements revealed a mean systolic of 139 mm Hg and mean diastolic of 79 mm Hg; on the screening days, 48% and 59% of subjects demonstrated either systolic or diastolic blood pressures above normal, respectively. BNP levels ranged from 0-479 pg/mL with an average of 40 pg/mL. A total of 24 subjects (10.3%) had a BNP level >100 pg/mL, and a total of 32 subjects (13.7%) had a level >80 pg/mL. The follow-up data showed that all 24 subjects saw their physician within 6 months after the screening. By 12 months following the initial screening program, 21 of the 24 subjects with elevated BNP levels (88%) underwent further testing and 18 of the 24 (67%) had changes in their medications. BNP screening identifies subjects at high risk for developing HF. Most subjects at risk have multiple risk factors and abnormal blood pressure. Approximately 10% of this population tested with an abnormal level of BNP, higher than the Food and Drug Administration-assigned cut-point diagnostic for HF. Increased public and physician awareness and information are needed to transform screening opportunities into a strategic approach to improve health care and HF prevention.

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Accession: 049218694

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12826770

DOI: 10.1111/j.1527-5299.2003.02589.x

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