Background: Metabolic syndrome has been shown to be associated with lower levels of plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (Nt-proBNP) in the general population. We sought to elucidate the relationship between Nt-proBNP and components of metabolic syndrome in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Methods: Fasting blood samples were obtained from 93 patients in our institution. Plasma levels of Nt-proBNP and other biochemical data were measured. The New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification system (I-IV) was used to define the functional capacity of CHF. Metabolic syndrome and its components were defined using diagnostic criteria from the International Diabetes Federation. Results: Forty-nine patients (52.7%) had CHF. There was a positive correlation between plasma Nt-proBNP levels and NYHA functional capacity in CHF patients. Plasma Nt-proBNP levels increased significantly with each increasing NYHA class of the disease. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in CHF patients was higher than that in patients without CHF. Most importantly, we found that plasma Nt-proBNP levels were lower in CHF patients with metabolic syndrome attributable to inverse relationships between plasma Nt-proBNP and body mass index (b = 20.297), plasma triglyceride (b = 20.286) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR; b = 20.346). Fasting glucose to insulin ratio (FGIR, an insulin sensitivity index) was positively associated with plasma Nt-proBNP levels (b = 0.491), and was the independent predictor of plasma Nt-proBNP levels in CHF patients. Conclusions: Plasma Nt-proBNP levels are inversely associated with metabolic syndrome in CHF patients. Reduced plasma Nt-proBNP levels in CHF patients may lead to impaired lipolysis and metabolic function, and may contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome in CHF patients.
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