Associations between diet quality and NT-proBNP in U.S. adults, NHANES 1999-2004

Ping Yang, Mary R. Rooney, Amelia S. Wallace, Hyunju Kim, Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, John W. McEvoy, Chiadi Ndumele, Robert H. Christenson, Elizabeth Selvin, Casey M. Rebholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: N-terminal pro-brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a marker of cardiac wall stress and is a predictor of cardiovascular disease. Higher diet quality is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The association between diet quality and subclinical cardiovascular disease assessed by NT-proBNP is uncharacterized. We investigated the associations between diet quality, using Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015), and NT-proBNP from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004. Methods: We included 9,782 adults from NHANES 1999-2004 without self-reported cardiovascular disease. The HEI-2015 ranges from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better diet quality. The HEI-2015 was categorized into sex-specific quintiles. Regression models were used to quantify associations between the overall HEI-2015 score and its 13 components with log-transformed NT-proBNP. The beta coefficients were converted to percent differences. Results: Among 9,782 participants, mean age was 45 years, 48% were men, and 72% were non-Hispanic White adults. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and medical history, those in the highest vs. lowest HEI-2015 quintile had an 8.5% (95% CI: -14.6% to -2.0%) lower NT-proBNP level. There was a dose-response association between HEI-2015 and NT-proBNP (P value for trend = 0.01). Each 1-unit higher in sodium and added sugars score indicating lower intake was associated with lower NT-proBNP by 7.7% (95% CI: -12.8% to -2.2%) and 6.5% (95% CI: -12.0% to -0.7%), respectively. Conclusion: Higher diet quality, especially lower intakes of sodium and added sugars, was associated with lower serum levels of NT-proBNP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100528
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Cardiology
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Diet quality
  • Healthy Eating Index-2015
  • Heart failure
  • N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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