There are few community-based epidemiologic studies that have dealt with risk factors for heart failure in non-Western populations. It has been reported that the measurement of plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is useful for detecting patients with asymptomatic heart failure. To clarify the determinants of high plasma BNP level, the association of BNP with cardiovascular risk factors in community dwelling residents was examined. The plasma BNP levels were measured in 686 residents aged 35-69 years who received annual health check-up. The relationship of BNP to blood pressure, blood haemoglobin, serum cholesterol (total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), plasma glucose, electrocardiographic (ECG) findings, urinary salt excretion, and lifestyle factors (smoking and alcohol consumption) were cross-sectionally analysed. The plasma BNP geometric mean was 13.7 pg/ml. Both linear and logistic regression analyses indicated that the plasma BNP levels were positively associated with age, urinary salt excretion, higher blood pressure, high R-wave voltage in the 12-lead ECG (Minnesota Code 3-1 or 3-3), and female gender. Plasma BNP levels were inversely associated with blood haemoglobin levels. Gender-specific analysis showed similar results. However, plasma BNP did not correlate with other cardiovascular risk factors such as serum lipids.
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