6-year change in high sensitivity cardiac troponin T and the risk of atrial fibrillation in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort

Linzi Li, Elizabeth Selvin, Ron C. Hoogeveen, Elsayed Z. Soliman, Lin Y. Chen, Faye L. Norby, Alvaro Alonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Circulating high sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) is associated with incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF), but the association of changes in hs-cTnT over time on incident AF has not been explored.

HYPOTHESIS: Six-year increase in circulating hs-cTnT will be associated with increased risk of AF and will contribute to improved prediction of incident AF.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort analysis of 8431 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. hs-cTnT change was categorized at visit 2 and 4 as undetectable (<5 ng/L), detectable (≥5 ng/L, <14 ng/L), or elevated (≥14 ng/L). We used Cox regression to examine the association between the combination of hs-cTnT categories at two visits and incident AF. We also assessed the impact of adding absolute hs-cTnT change on risk discrimination for AF by C-statistics and net reclassification improvement (NRI).

RESULTS: Over a mean follow-up of 16.5 years, 1629 incident AF cases were diagnosed. Among participants with undetectable hs-cTnT at visit 2, the multivariable HR of AF was 1.28 (95% CI 1.12-1.48) among those with detectable or elevated hs-cTnT at visit 4 compared to those in which hs-cTnT remained undetectable. Among those with detectable hs-cTnT at visit 2, compared to those who remained in the detectable hs-cTnT group, reduction to undetectable at visit 4 was associated with lower risk of AF (HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.59-0.94), while increment to elevated was associated with higher AF risk (HR 1.30, 95% CI 1.01-1.68). Adding hs-cTnT change to our main model with baseline hs-cTnT did not result in significant improvement in the C-statistic or substantial NRI.

CONCLUSION: Six-year increase in circulating hs-cTnT was associated with elevated risk of incident AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1594-1601
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number11
Early online dateSep 21 2021
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the staff and participants of the ARIC study for their important contributions. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract nos. HHSN268201700001I, HHSN268201700002I, HHSN268201700003I, HHSN268201700005I, HHSN268201700004I. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K24HL148521 and by American Heart Association grant 16EIA26410001 (Alonso). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Selvin was supported by NIH/NIDDK grants K24DK106414 and R01DK089174.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Clinical Cardiology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • atrial fibrillation
  • hs-cTnT
  • risk prediction


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