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Eur J Heart Fail. 2013 Apr;15(4):394-9. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfs196. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Fatty acid-binding protein 4 and incident heart failure: the Cardiovascular Health Study.

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Division of Aging, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Boston Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02120, USA.



To examine the association of plasma fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4) with incident heart failure.


In a prospective study of 4179 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study, we measured plasma FABP4 on blood specimens collected between 1992 and 1993. Incident heart failure was adjudicated by an endpoint committee and we used a Cox proportional hazards model to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of heart failure. The average age at baseline was 75 years. During a median follow-up of 10.7 years, 1182 cases of incident heart failure occurred. We observed a positive association between FABP4 and heart failure in the minimally adjusted models [HR 1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-1.38 per 1 SD higher FABP4] that was attenuated upon adjustment for potential confounders, mostly kidney function and body mass index (corresponding HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.17). In a subsample of heart failure cases with available data on LV systolic function, FABP4 was not associated with heart failure with or without preserved LV systolic function. Exclusion of people with unintentional weight loss and self-reported fair/poor health status did not alter the conclusion.


An elevated plasma concentration of FABP4 was associated with a modestly higher risk of heart failure in older adults in the USA after adjustment for confounding factors.

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