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High B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels Up Women's Death Risk

Higher levels seem to be stronger predictor of death in women versus men

THURSDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) blood levels are associated with a higher mortality risk for women with heart failure than for men, researchers report in the Nov. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Michael Christ, M.D., of the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, and colleagues compared BNP blood levels in a study of 190 women and 262 men with acute dyspnea.

The researchers found that 38 percent of women had died two years later, versus 35 percent of men. Closer analysis showed a 5.1 times higher death risk for women with BNP plasma levels of more than 500 pg/mL, versus a 1.8 greater risk for men with similar levels.

For women, the mortality forecasting area below the receiver-operating curve for BNP blood levels was 0.80, versus 0.64 for men. Overall, 68 percent of females with blood levels of more than 500 pg/mL died, versus 46 percent of men, suggesting that such levels forecast death more significantly for female than male patients.

"B-type natriuretic peptide plasma levels seem to be stronger predictors of death in women than in men," the authors conclude.

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