Heart 99:163-167 doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2012-302972
  • Heart failure
  • Original article

Serum γ-glutamyltransferase and the risk of heart failure in men and women in Finland

Editor's Choice
  1. Gang Hu1
  1. 1Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  2. 2Human Nutrition and Food Division, School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  3. 3Department of Experimental Statistics, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  4. 4Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  5. 5Department of Health Promotion and Chronic Diseases Prevention, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
  6. 6Oulu University and Unit of General Practice (Geriatrics), Oulu City Hospital and Institute of Health Sciences, Oulu, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gang Hu, Chronic Disease Epidemiology Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA;{at}
  • Received 31 August 2012
  • Revised 8 October 2012
  • Accepted 9 October 2012
  • Published Online First 9 November 2012


Objectives To evaluate the association of serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels with heart failure (HF) risk in the Finnish population.

Design Prospective population-based cohort study.

Setting The present study, which is a part of FINRISK study, was carried out in Finland.

Subject study cohorts included 18 353 Finnish men and 19 726 women who were 25–74 years of age and free of HF at baseline.

Main outcome measures HF (636 men and 445 women) during a mean follow-up of 14.5 years.

Results Baseline measurement of different levels of serum GGT was used to predict incident HF. The multivariable-adjusted (age, sex, study area, study year, smoking, education, alcohol consumption, physical activity, valvular heart disease, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol at baseline, myocardial infarction and diabetes at baseline and during follow-up) HRs of HF at five GGT groups (using the 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles) were 1.00, 1.16 (95% CI: 0.97 to 1.38), 1.20 (1.00 to 1.45), 1.29 (1.04 to 1.60) and 1.82 (1.45 to 2.29) (Ptrend<0.001). Stratification by smoking status, alcohol consumption and BMI gave similar results, while stronger association was observed among subjects aged <60 years (Ptrend=0.001) compared with subjects 60+ years of age (Ptrend=0.173).

Conclusions Moderate to high levels of serum GGT (from the 50th to the 90th percentiles) were significantly associated with incident HF in men and women in Finland, and the predictive power was stronger in subjects aged <60 years.

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