Clin Interv Aging. 2020 Aug 11;15:1353-1363. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S259889. eCollection 2020.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the prognostic value of ghrelin, a growth hormone-releasing peptide, for mortality and readmission in elderly patients with acute heart failure (AHF).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We measured plasma ghrelin and pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels upon emergency admission in 241 prospectively recruited elderly AHF patients (61.0% men). The outcomes were all-cause mortality and/or readmission due to heart failure (HF). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to evaluate the prognostic value of ghrelin. Discrimination, calibration, and reclassification indices were compared between models, with or without ghrelin.
RESULTS: During 1.2 years of follow-up, we observed 90 events (57 deaths and 33 readmissions due to HF). Plasma ghrelin levels were significantly elevated in elderly AHF patients, when compared to healthy control subjects (P < 0.001). Patients with events had significantly higher baseline ghrelin levels, when compared to those without (P < 0.001). Ghrelin levels were positively correlated with NT-proBNP levels and HF severity, whereas they were negatively correlated with nutritional status (all P < 0.05). Log transformed ghrelin levels were independently associated with AHF events (hazard ratio = 2.64, 95% confidence interval = 1.11-6.25, P = 0.028). The incorporation of ghrelin into the reference model, or reference with the NT-proBNP model, both improved C-statistics (from 0.742-0.780 and 0.836-0.857; P = 0.074 and 0.044, respectively), resulting in an improvement in net reclassification index (14.42% and 10.45%, P = 0.020 and 0.025, respectively), and integrated discrimination index (5.64% and 3.60%, both P < 0.001). Patients who displayed the above NT-proBNP and ghrelin median levels had a markedly higher risk of AHF adverse events (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Plasma ghrelin is an independent predictor of adverse events in elderly AHF patients. Ghrelin may provide additional value to clinical parameters or NT-proBNP for prognostic risk stratification in AHF.