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Clin Chem. 2013 Mar;59(3):557-65. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2012.194167. Epub 2013 Jan 3.

Prospective evaluation of B-type natriuretic peptide concentrations and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women.

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Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Animal data suggest that natriuretic peptides play an important role in energy metabolism, but prospective studies evaluating a relationship between these peptides and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in humans are few and results are conflicting.


We used a prospective case-cohort approach (n = 491 T2DM cases, n = 561 reference subcohort) within the Women's Health Study to evaluate baseline N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentrations and the risk of incident T2DM. We also tested for associations between 4 common variants in the natriuretic peptide A and B genes (NPPA and NPPB) and NT-proBNP concentrations (n = 458) and incident T2DM (n = 1372 cases among 22 607 women).


Case subjects had higher median baseline body mass index (29.4 vs 25.0 kg/m(2), P < 0.001) and lower baseline median (interquartile range) NT-proBNP concentrations [46.8 ng/L (26.1-83.2) vs 66.7 ng/L (39.3-124.7), P < 0.001]. In proportional hazards models adjusting for established diabetes risk factors, women in the highest quartile of baseline NT-proBNP concentration (≥ 117.4 ng/L) had a 49% reduction in risk of T2DM [hazard ratio (HR) 0.51, 0.30-0.86, P = 0.01] relative to those in the lowest quartile. Two of the 4 tested variants in NPPA and NPPB (rs632793, rs198389) were associated with increased NT-proBNP concentrations and reduced risk of T2DM. For example, each copy of the minor allele of rs632793 was associated with increased NT-proBNP [β (SE) = 0.201 (0.063), P < 0.01] and decreased T2DM risk (HR 0.91, 0.84-0.989, P = 0.026).


NT-proBNP concentrations that are high, but still within the reference interval, associate with reduced risk of incident diabetes in women and support a favorable role for natriuretic peptides in the prevention of T2DM.

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