Transforming growth factor beta-1 and incidence of heart failure in older adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cytokine (2012)


August 2012, Public Health Sciences Division


CONTEXT: Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-B1) is a highly pleiotropic cytokine whose functions include a central role in the induction of fibrosis. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the hypothesis that elevated plasma levels of TGF-B1 are positively associated with incident heart failure (HF). PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: The hypotheses were tested using a two-phase case-control study design, ancillary to the Cardiovascular Health Study - a longitudinal, population-based cohort study. Cases were defined as having an incident HF event after their 1992-1993 exam and controls were free of HF at follow-up. TGF-B1 was measured using plasma collected in 1992-1993 and data from 89 cases and 128 controls were used for analysis. The association between TGF-B1 and risk of HF was evaluated using the weighted likelihood method, and odds ratios (OR) for risk of HF were calculated for TGF-B1 as a continuous linear variable and across quartiles of TGF-B1. RESULTS: The OR for HF was 1.88 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.26-2.81) for each nanogram increase in TGF-B1, and the OR for the highest quartile (compared to the lowest) of TGF-B1 was 5.79 (95% CI 1.65-20.34), after adjustment for age, sex, C-reactive protein, platelet count and digoxin use. Further adjustment with other covariates did not change the results. CONCLUSIONS: Higher levels of plasma TGF-B1 were associated with an increased risk of incident heart failure among older adults. However, further study is needed in larger samples to confirm these findings.