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Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 286 - 292

Growth-Differentiation Factor-15 for Risk Stratification in Patients With Stable and Unstable Coronary Heart Disease: Results From the AtheroGene Study

T Kempf, J. M Sinning, A Quint, C Bickel, C Sinning, P. S Wild, R Schnabel, E Lubos, H. J Rupprecht, T Munzel, H Drexler, S Blankenberg and K. C. Wollert    

Abstract:

Background— Growth-differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is a stress-responsive transforming growth factor-β-related cytokine that has emerged as a prognostic biomarker in acute coronary syndrome trial populations. Its predictive role in stable coronary heart disease (CHD) has never been assessed.

Methods and Results— The circulating levels of GDF-15 were measured by immunoradiometric assay in patients with stable angina pectoris (n=1352) or acute coronary syndrome (n=877) who were followed up for a median of 3.6 years. Stable angina pectoris patients presenting with normal (<1200 ng/L), moderately elevated (1200 to 1800 ng/L), or markedly elevated (>1800 ng/L) GDF-15 levels had 3.6-year CHD mortality rates of 1.4%, 2.7%, and 15.0%, respectively (P<0.001). By backward stepwise Cox-regression analysis, which adjusted for age and gender, clinical variables, the number of diseased vessels, renal function, the levels of C-reactive protein, cardiac troponin I, and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, GDF-15 remained an independent predictor of CHD mortality (P<0.001). Addition of GDF-15 improved the prognostic accuracy of a clinical risk prediction model concerning CHD mortality (c-statistic, 0.84 versus 0.74; P=0.005). Analysis of the acute coronary syndrome part of the study population confirmed GDF-15 as an independent predictor of CHD mortality (P<0.001). The circulating levels of GDF-15 did not predict the future risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction in patients with stable angina pectoris or acute coronary syndrome.

Conclusion— This study identifies GDF-15 as a strong and independent predictor of CHD mortality across the broad spectrum of patients with stable and unstable CHD.

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