Aims: N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-TnT) and soluble suppression of tumorigenesis-2 (sST2) predict outcome in chronic heart failure (HF). We assessed the influence of age on circulating levels and prognostic significance of these biomarkers. Methods and results: Individual data from 5301 patients with chronic HF and NT-proBNP, hs-TnT, and sST2 data were evaluated. Patients were stratified according to age: <60 years (n = 1332, 25%), 60–69 years (n = 1628, 31%), 70–79 years (n = 1662, 31%), and ≥ 80 years (n = 679, 13%). Patients (median age 66 years, 75% men, median left ventricular ejection fraction 28%, 64% with ischaemic HF) had median NT-proBNP 1564 ng/L, hs-TnT 21 ng/L, and sST2 29 ng/mL. Age independently predicted NT-proBNP and hs-TnT, but not sST2. The best NT-proBNP and hs-TnT cut-offs for 1-year and 5-year all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and 1- to 12-month HF hospitalization increased with age, while the best sST2 cut-offs did not. When stratifying patients according to age- and outcome-specific cut-offs, this stratification yielded independent prognostic significance over NT-proBNP levels only, or the composite of NT-proBNP and hs-TnT, and improved risk prediction for most endpoints. Finally, absolute NT-proBNP, hs-TnT, and sST2 levels predicted outcomes independent of age, sex, left ventricular ejection fraction category, ethnic group, and other variables. Conclusions: Soluble ST2 is less influenced by age than NT-proBNP or hs-TnT; all these biomarkers predict outcome regardless of age. The use of age- and outcome-specific cut-offs of NT-proBNP, hs-TnT and sST2 allows more accurate risk stratification than NT-proBNP alone or the combination of NT-proBNP and hs-TnT.
- Heart failure