OBJECTIVE: The plasma amino-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level predicted congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, and ischaemic stroke in participants of the Perindopril Protection Against Recurrent Stroke Study (PROGRESS), a placebo-controlled study of the effects of blood pressure lowering on cardiovascular events among individuals with cerebrovascular disease. Active treatment comprised a flexible regimen based on perindopril, with the addition of indapamide at the discretion of treating physicians. Active treatment reduced cardiovascular events, and we therefore investigated whether active treatment modified NT-proBNP and other cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS: We measured NT-proBNP and other cardiovascular risk factors at randomization and after 13 months of therapy in a subset of 357 PROGRESS participants. RESULTS: Baseline systolic and pulse pressures were higher in individuals with elevated baseline NT-proBNP levels. In comparison with placebo, active treatment reduced the blood pressure and NT-proBNP levels, and increased renin levels. Reduction of NT-proBNP levels by active treatment was most evident in individuals with baseline NT-proBNP levels in the highest quarter (> 26 pmol/l), with a median reduction of 16 pmol/l (interquartile range 0-51 pmol/l, P = 0.004), corresponding to a median decrease of 39% (interquartile range 0-69%). Active treatment reduced blood pressure similarly for individuals in each of the four quarters of baseline NT-proBNP. Active therapy had no effect on plasma lipid, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, or soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 levels. CONCLUSION: We conclude that plasma NT-proBNP level, in addition to predicting cardiovascular risk, may provide a measure of risk reduction by blood pressure-lowering therapy.
- Amino-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide
- C-reactive protein
- Heart failure
- Myocardial infarction
- Soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1