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J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;55(1):359-369.

N-Terminal Pro-B Type Natriuretic Peptide is Associated with Mild Cognitive Impairment in the General Population.

Author information

Cardiovascular Center, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
West-German Heart and Vascular Center, Department of Cardiology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.
Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
Institute for Medical Sociology, Medical Faculty, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.



N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a marker of cardiac stress and is linked with silent cardiac diseases. While associations of cognitive impairment with manifest cardiovascular diseases are established, data on whether subclinical elevation of NT-proBNP levels below clinically established threshold of heart failure is related with cognitive functioning, especially mild cognitive impairment (MCI), is rare.


Aim of the present study was to investigate the cross-sectional association of NT-proBNP levels and MCI in a population-based study sample without heart failure.


We used data from the second examination of the population based Heinz-Nixdorf-Recall-Study. Subjects with overt coronary heart disease and subjects with NT-proBNP levels indicating potential heart failure (NT-proBNP≥300 pg/ml) were excluded from this analysis. Participants performed a validated brief cognitive assessment and were classified either as MCI [subtypes: amnestic-MCI (aMCI), non-amnestic-MCI (naMCI)], or cognitively-normal.


We included 419 participants with MCI (63.1±7.4 y; 47% men; aMCI n = 209; naMCI n = 210) and 1,206 cognitively normal participants (62.42±7.1 y; 48% men). NT-proBNP-levels≥125 pg/ml compared to <125 pg/ml were associated with MCI in fully adjusted models (OR 1.65 (1.23;2.23) in the total sample, 1.73 (1.09;2.74) in men and 1.63(1.10;2.41) in women). For aMCI, the fully adjusted OR was 1.53 (1.04;2.25) and for naMCI, the fully adjusted OR was 1.34 (1.09; 166) in the total sample.


Within normal ranges and without manifest heart failure, higher NT-proBNPlevels are associated with MCI and both MCI subtypes independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and sociodemographic parameters.


Alzheimer’s disease; BNP; NT-proBNP; mild cognitive impairment; natriuretic peptides

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