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Sarcopenia is linked to higher levels of B-type natriuretic peptide and its N-terminal fragment in heart failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Sarcopenia is linked to impaired physical function and exercise tolerance. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the association of sarcopenia and low appendicular skeletal muscle (ASM) with biomarkers of cardiac function, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and its N-terminal fragment (NT-proBNP), in patients with heart failure (HF).

From inception until May 2023, a systematic literature search of observational studies was undertaken utilizing the PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases. A meta-analysis employing a random-effects model was used to compute the pooled effects (CRD42023418465).

Overall, 16 studies were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. Our main analysis showed that sarcopenia in HF was linked to significantly higher levels of BNP (MD: 87.76, 95% CI 20.74-154.78, I = 61%, P = 0.01) and NT-proBNP (MD: 947.45, 95% CI 98.97-1795.93, I = 35%, P = 0.03).

Similarly, low ASM was associated with significantly higher levels of BNP (MD: 118.95, 95% CI 46.91-191.00, I = 93%, P < 0.01) and NT-proBNP (MD: 672.01, 95% CI 383.72-960.30, I = 2%, P < 0.01). The quality of the included cohort studies was considered moderate, using the binary AXIS checklist and the Cochrane Tool to Assess the Risk of Bias in Cohort Studies.

In patients with HF, sarcopenia and reduced ASM are associated with considerably higher plasma levels of BNP and NT-proBNP. Future research is required to investigate whether sarcopenia may express dysregulated biomarkers of cardiac function.

Konstantinos Prokopidis


University of Liverpool

United Kingdom


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