Prevalence and Correlates of Elevated NT-proBNP in Pregnant Women in the General U.S. Population

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Background: Physiologic changes in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) across trimesters of pregnancy have not been well studied. Objectives: The authors aimed to measure NT-proBNP in adult women, by pregnancy status and trimester, in a nationally representative sample from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 to 2004. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 2,134 women (546 pregnant) aged 20 to 40 years without a history of cardiovascular disease. Results: Among pregnant women in the first trimester, the prevalence of elevated NT-proBNP (>125 pg/mL) was 20.0% (SE, 6.6%) compared to 2.4% (SE, 0.8%) among women in the third trimester and 8.0% among nonpregnant women. After adjustment for demographics and cardiovascular risk factors, NT-proBNP was 44% higher (absolute difference 26.4 [95% CI: 11.2-41.6] pg/mL) in the first trimester of pregnancy compared to nonpregnant women. Among pregnant women only, adjusted NT-proBNP was 46% lower (absolute difference −22.2 [95% CI: −36.9 to −7.5] pg/mL) in women in the third trimester compared to women in the first trimester. NT-proBNP was inversely associated with body mass index and with systolic blood pressure. Conclusions: Women in the first trimester of pregnancy had significantly higher NT-proBNP than those in the third trimester and compared to similarly aged nonpregnant women. The dynamic nature of NT-proBNP should be taken into consideration when ordering NT-proBNP lab tests in pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100265
JournalJACC: Advances
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • biomarkers
  • heart failure
  • pregnancy
  • proBNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)


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