Biomarker can predict mortality rate in patients with heart failure

An NHLBI-funded study identified a biomarker, biological indicator, that can predict which patients with stable heart failure have a higher risk of dying within 1 to 3 years. The findings, published in JAMA Cardiology, allow researchers to understand why some people with stable heart failure live longer than others despite receiving the same medications and medical device therapy.

Although patients with stable heart failure have similar characteristics, some have rapid disease progression while others remain stable. About half of them die within 5 years of their diagnosis. Researchers wanted to determine whether a biomarker of the nervous system could help explain the difference.

The study shows that patients who have higher levels of neuropeptide Y, a molecule released by the nervous system, are 10 times more likely to die within one to three years than those with lower levels of neuropeptides.