High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T and Risk of Hypertension.

PMID 26152706


The diagnosis of hypertension is often preceded by cardiac structural abnormalities. Thus, we assessed whether high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT), a marker of subclinical myocardial damage, can identify individuals at risk for hypertension or left ventricular hypertrophy. We studied 6516 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study participants who were free of prevalent hypertension and cardiovascular disease at baseline (1990-1992). We examined the association of baseline hs-cTnT categories with incident diagnosed hypertension (defined by self-report of a diagnosis or medication use during a maximum of 19.9 years of follow-up) and with incident visit-based hypertension (defined by self-report, medication use, or measured blood pressure >140/90 mm Hg over 6 years). Relative to hs-cTnT <5 ng/L, adjusted hazard ratios for incident diagnosed hypertension were 1.16 (95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.25) for individuals with hs-cTnT of 5 to 8 ng/L, 1.29 (95% confidence interval, 1.14-1.47) for hs-cTnT of 9 to 13 ng/L, and 1.31 (95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.61) for hs-cTnT ≥14 ng/L (P for trend <0.001). Associations were stronger for incident visit-based hypertension. These associations were driven by higher relative hazard in normotensive people (compared with those with prehypertension; P for interaction=0.001). Baseline hs-cTnT was also strongly associated with incident left ventricular hypertrophy by electrocardiography over 6 years (eg, adjusted hazard ratio, 5.19 [95% confidence interval, 1.49-18.08] for hs-cTnT ≥14 versus <5 ng/L). Findings were not appreciably changed after accounting for competing deaths or adjusting for baseline blood pressure levels or N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide. In an ambulatory population with no history of cardiovascular disease, hs-cTnT was associated with incident hypertension and risk of left ventricular hypertrophy. Further research is needed to determine whether hs-cTnT can identify people who may benefit from ambulatory blood pressure monitoring or hypertension prevention lifestyle strategies.