High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin, Statin Therapy, and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

Ian Ford, Anoop S.v. Shah, Ruiqi Zhang, David A. Mcallister, Fiona E. Strachan, Muriel Caslake, David E. Newby, Chris J. Packard, Nicholas L. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Cardiac troponin is an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in individuals without symptoms or signs of cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms for this association are uncertain, and a role for troponin testing in the prevention of coronary heart disease has yet to be established. Objectives This study sought to determine whether troponin concentration could predict coronary events, be modified by statins, and reflect response to therapy in a primary prevention population. Methods WOSCOPS (West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study) randomized men with raised low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and no history of myocardial infarction to pravastatin 40 mg once daily or placebo for 5 years. Plasma cardiac troponin I concentration was measured with a high-sensitivity assay at baseline and at 1 year in 3,318 participants. Results Baseline troponin was an independent predictor of myocardial infarction or death from coronary heart disease (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.4 to 3.7) for the highest (≥5.2 ng/l) versus lowest (≤3.1 ng/l) quarter of troponin (p < 0.001). There was a 5-fold greater reduction in coronary events when troponin concentrations decreased by more than a quarter, rather than increased by more than a quarter, for both placebo (HR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.12 to 0.72 vs. HR: 1.95; 95% CI: 1.09 to 3.49; p < 0.001 for trend) and pravastatin (HR: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.53 vs. HR: 1.08; 95% CI: 0.53 to 2.21; p < 0.001 for trend). Pravastatin reduced troponin concentration by 13% (10% to 15%; placebo adjusted, p < 0.001) and doubled the number of men whose troponin fell more than a quarter (p < 0.001), which identified them as having the lowest risk for future coronary events (1.4% over 5 years). Conclusions Troponin concentration predicts coronary events, is reduced by statin therapy, and change at 1 year is associated with future coronary risk independent of cholesterol lowering. Serial troponin measurements have major potential to assess cardiovascular risk and monitor the impact of therapeutic interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2719-2728
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number25
Early online date19 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2016


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