Cardiovascular medication in patients with raised NT-proBNP, but no heart failure in the SHEAF registry

Elena Wolodimeroff, Pankaj Garg, Andrew J. Swift, Graham Fent, Nigel Lewis, Dominic Rogers, Athanasios Charalampopoulos, Abdallah Al-Mohammad

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Objectives We aim to assess the association of cardiovascular medications with outcomes of patients referred to the diagnostic heart failure (HF) clinic with symptoms or signs of possible HF, raised N-terminal pro-brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) but no evidence of HF on transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). Methods Data were collected prospectively into the Sheffield HEArt Failure (SHEAF) registry between April 2012 and January 2020. The inclusion criteria were symptoms or signs suggestive of HF, NT-proBNP >400 pg/mL, but no evidence of HF on TTE. Cox proportional-hazards regression model was used to investigate the association between the survival time of patients and different cardiovascular medications. The outcome was defined as all-cause mortality. Results From the SHEAF registry, we identified 1766 patients with raised NT-proBNP with no evidence of HF on TTE. Survival was higher among the younger patients, and among those with hypertension or atrial fibrillation (AF). Mortality was increased with male gender, valvular heart disease and chronic kidney disease. Using univariate Cox proportional-hazards regression, the only cardiac therapeutic agent independently associated with all-cause mortality was beta-blocker (HR 0.86; 95% CI: 0.77 to 0.97; p=0.02). The use of beta-blockers was significantly higher in patients with AF (63% vs 39%, p<0.01) and hypertension (51% vs 42%, p<0.01). However, using multivariate Cox proportional-hazards regression to adjust for all variables associated with mortality, the influence of beta-blockers became non-significant (HR 0.96; 95% CI: 0.85 to 1.1, p=0.49). Conclusion When all variables associated with mortality are considered, none of the cardiovascular agents are associated with the improved survival of patients with suspected HF, raised NT-proBNP but no HF on echocardiography.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001974
JournalOpen Heart
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension

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