Impact of Smoking on Circulating Cardiac Troponin I Concentrations and Cardiovascular Events in the General Population: The HUNT Study
Background—Both tobacco smoking and circulating cardiac troponin I (cTnI) levels are associated with the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF) and cardiovascular death. However, whether cardiac troponin I levels differ according to smoking status, or whether smoking modifies the prognostic relationship between cardiac troponin I and outcomes remain unclear.
Methods—Using data from a large population-based cohort, we assessed the association between smoking and cTnI, and the impact of smoking on the associations between cTnI levels and the incidence of AMI, HF and cardiovascular death. cTnI was measured with a high-sensitivity assay in 3824 never-smokers, 2341 former smokers and 2550 current smokers participating in the prospective observational Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT). All subjects were free from known prior cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus at baseline.
Results—The age of the participants ranged from 19 to 94 years, 55.5% were women. Current smokers exhibited significantly lower levels of cTnI (median 2.9 [interquartile range 2.0-4.1] ng/L) than never-smokers (3.2 [2.2-4.7] ng/L; p<0.001) and former smokers (3.4 [2.3-5.0] ng/L; p<0.001). This association remained significant after adjustment for potential confounders (B 0.098 [95% confidence interval (CI) -0.129-(-0.068)]). We observed an association between increasing concentrations of cTnI and clinical endpoints in the total study cohort (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) per unit in log hs-TnI 1.38 [95% CI 1.25-1.51]). This association was attenuated for current smokers (HR 1.18 [0.98-1.41]), and was significantly weaker than in never/former smokers (p for interaction=0.003). Prognostic accuracy, as assessed by C-statistics, was significantly lower in current smokers than in never-smokers (p<0.001). Also, cTnI provided no incremental prognostic information to the Framingham Cardiovascular Disease risk score in current smokers (p=0.08).
Conclusions—Current smoking is associated with lower concentrations of cTnI, suggesting that substances in tobacco smoke may affect cardiomyocyte injury. The association between cTnI levels and cardiovascular endpoints is stronger in never/former smokers than in current smokers, compatible with the theory that the detrimental cardiovascular impact of current smoking is mediated via mechanisms other than subclinical myocardial injury.
- population study
- heart failure
- acute myocardial infarction
- risk prediction
- cardiovascular disease prevention
- Received June 21, 2016.
- Revision received October 5, 2016.
- Accepted October 19, 2016.