Hypertensive heart disease is a rising concern, especially among black South African women. As high sensitivity cardiac troponin T (cTnT) is a marker of cardiomyocyte damage, we determined the potential link of (i) systemic endothelial dysfunction (reflected by urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio), (ii) large artery stiffness, (iii) cardiac volume load (estimated by the N-terminal prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide (Nt-proBNP)), and (iv) ECG left ventricular hypertrophy in post-menopausal black women.
In 121 (50 normotensive and 71 hypertensive) black women (mean age: 60.6 years), basic cardiovascular assessments including blood pressure and ECG were performed, along with plasma and urinary biomarkers including cTnT.
The cTnT levels (p=0.049) along with Nt-proBNP (p=0.003), pulse pressure (p<0.0001) and the Cornell product (p=0.030) were higher in hypertensive than normotensive women. Only in hypertensive women, was cTnT independently associated with urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (β=0.25; p=0.019), pulse pressure (β=0.31; p=0.019), Nt-proBNP (β=0.47; p<0.0001) and Cornell product (β=0.31; p=0.018). An independent association between albumin-to-creatinine ratio and cTnT was also evident in normotensive women (β=0.34; p=0.037).
We found cTnT to be a useful marker in an elderly black population relating to several measures of cardiovascular deterioration – from subclinical endothelial dysfunction to left ventricular hypertrophy