Performance of High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin Assays To Reflect Comorbidity Burden and Improve Mortality Risk Stratification in Older Adults With Diabetes.

Incorporation of comorbidity burden to inform diabetes management in older adults remains challenging. High-sensitivity cardiac troponins are objective, quantifiable biomarkers that may improve risk monitoring in older adults. We assessed the associations of elevations in high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) and T (hs-cTnT) with comorbidities and improvements in mortality risk stratification.We used logistic regression to examine associations of comorbidities with elevations in either troponin (85th percentile) among 1,835 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study with diabetes (ages 67-89 years, 43% male, 31% black) at visit 5 (2011-2013). We used Cox models to compare associations of high cardiac troponins with mortality across comorbidity levels.Elevations in either troponin (9.4 ng/L for hs-cTnI, 25 ng/L for hs-cTnT) were associated with prevalent coronary heart disease, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, pulmonary disease, hypoglycemia, hypertension, dementia, and frailty. Over a median follow-up of 6.2 years (418 deaths), both high hs-cTnI and high hs-cTnT further stratified mortality risk beyond comorbidity levels; those with a high hs-cTnI or hs-cTnT and high comorbidity were at highest mortality risk. Even among those with low comorbidity, a high hs-cTnI (hazard ratio [HR] 3.0 [95% CI 1.7, 5.4]) or hs-cTnT (HR 3.3 [95% CI 1.8, 6.2]) was associated with elevated mortality.Many comorbidities were reflected by both hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT; elevations in either of the troponins were associated with higher mortality risk beyond comorbidity burden. High-sensitivity cardiac troponins may identify older adults at high mortality risk and be useful in guiding clinical care of older adults with diabetes.

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