Background-—Epidemiological evidence implies a link between heart disease and dementia. However, few prospective studies have assessed the association between serum NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide) levels and dementia. Methods and Results-—A total of 1635 community-dwelling Japanese elderly aged ≥60 years without dementia (57% women, mean age±SD 70.8±7.7 years) were followed up for 10 years. Serum NT-proBNP levels were divided into 4 categories (≤54, 55-124, 125-299, and ≥300 pg/mL). The hazard ratios were estimated using a Cox proportional hazards model. During the follow-up period, 377 subjects developed all-cause dementia, 247 Alzheimer disease, and 102 vascular dementia. The age-and sex-adjusted incidence of all-cause dementia was 31.5 per 1000 person-years and increased significantly with higher serum NT-proBNP levels, being 16.4, 32.0, 35.7, and 45.5, respectively (P for trend <0.01). Subjects with serum NT-proBNP levels of ≥300 pg/mL had a significantly higher risk of all-cause dementia (hazard ratio=2.46, 95% CI 1.63-3.71) than those with serum NT-proBNP levels of ≤54 pg/mL after adjusting for confounders. Similar risks were observed for Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. Incorporation of the serum NT-proBNP level into a model with known risk factors for dementia significantly improved the predictive ability for incident dementia (c-statistics 0.780-0.787, P=0.02; net reclassification improvement 0.189, P=0.001; integrated discrimination improvement 0.011, P=0.003). Conclusions-—Higher serum NT-proBNP levels were significantly associated with an increased risk of dementia. Serum NT-proBNP could be a novel biomarker for predicting future risk of dementia in the general elderly population.
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