Determinants of minimal elevation in high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T in the general population

Jonathan Rubin, Kunihiro Matsushita, Mariana Lazo, Christie M. Ballantyne, Vijay Nambi, Ron Hoogeveen, Albert Richey Sharrett, Roger S. Blumenthal, Josef Coresh, Elizabeth Selvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: To study the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and detectable cardiac troponin-T using a highly sensitive assay (hs-cTnT) among persons without a history of cardiovascular disease. Design and methods: We examined the cross-sectional associations between cardiovascular risk factors and hs-cTnT in 9593 participants (mean age 65.6 (SD, 5.6), 41% female, 22% black) free of cardiovascular disease in a community-based cohort, through the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. We used multivariable logistic regression to characterize the association between cardiovascular risk factors and detectable (≥. 3.0 to 13.9 ng/L) and elevated (≥. 14.0 ng/L) hs-cTnT. Results: hs-cTnT was detectable in 59% and elevated in 7% of the study population. Among persons with ideal cardiovascular health, hs-cTnT was detectable in 44%. In models adjusting for significant determinants of hs-cTnT concentration, detectable hs-cTnT was more frequent among males, blacks and persons with diabetes and hypertension and less frequent among statin users, current smokers and drinkers. Other risk factors associated with detectable hs-cTnT were older age, lower kidney function and higher body mass index. These risk factors were associated with elevated hs-cTnT in a similar pattern. Conclusion: In a community-based sample without cardiovascular disease hs-cTnT is detectable in most adults, even among those with ideal cardiovascular health. Although most traditional cardiovascular risk factors were significant determinants of detectable and elevated hs-cTnT, the associations were particularly robust for sex, age, race, hypertension and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-662
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factors
  • Troponin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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