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Biomarkers and heart disease
Plasma N-terminal fragments of natriuretic peptides predict the risk of stroke and atrial fibrillation in men
  1. S Kurl1,
  2. M Ala-Kopsala2,
  3. H Ruskoaho2,
  4. T Mäkikallio3,4,
  5. K Nyyssönen1,
  6. O Vuolteenaho5,
  7. J Sivenius6,
  8. J T Salonen1,7,
  9. J A Laukkanen1,3
  1. 1
    Research Institute of Public Health, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
  2. 2
    Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  3. 3
    Lapland Central Hospital, Rovaniemi, Finland
  4. 4
    Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  5. 5
    Department of Physiology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  6. 6
    Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Kuopio and Brain Research and Rehabilitation Centre Neuron, Kuopio, Finland
  7. 7
    Department of Public Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
  1. Mr S Kurl, Research Institute of Public Health, University of Kuopio, PO Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland; sudhir.kurl{at}


Background: Risk stratification for cardiovascular outcomes is gaining importance in general population. Prognostic value of natriuretic peptides has been established in patients with heart failure. However, the prognostic significance of natriuretic peptides with respect to stroke is not well known in general populations.

Methods: Plasma natriuretic peptides were measured in a representative population-based sample of 958 men (age 46–65 years) from Eastern Finland. There were 46 cases of stroke, 74 of atrial fibrillation and 31 cases of ischaemic strokes during a follow-up of 9.6 years.

Results: The multivariable adjusted risk was 1.35-fold (95% CI 1.01 to 1.84, p = 0.049) for any stroke and 1.30-fold (95% CI 0.90 to 1.91, p = 0.0150) for ischaemic stroke for each log-transformed SD (0.240 pmol/l) increment in N-terminal fragment of proA-type natriuretic peptide. The respective risks were 1.36-fold (95% CI 1.05 to 1.76, p = 0.010) and 1.50-fold (95% CI 1.12 to 2.02, p = 0.007) for each log-transformed SD (0.237 pmol/l) increment in N-terminal fragment of proB-type natriuretic peptide. The multivariate adjusted risks for future atrial fibrillation were 1.71 (95% CI 1.32 to 2.22, p<0.001) and 1.68-fold (95% CI 1.38 to 2.07, p<0.001) for each log-transformed SD increment in N-terminal fragments of proA- and proB-type natriuretic peptides, respectively.

Conclusions: N-terminal fragments of pro-atrial natriuretic peptide and pro-brain natriuretic peptide are new additional predictors of any stroke and atrial fibrillation. Natriuretic peptides provide prognostic information for stroke and atrial fibrillation and may help in identifying subjects at risk for stroke and atrial fibrillation.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by Kuopio University Hospital Ethical commitee.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.