BACKGROUND: Circulating levels of endothelin-1 (ET1) are elevated in heart failure and predict poor prognosis. However, it is not clear whether ET1 elevation is an adaptive response, maladaptive response, or an epiphenomenon of heart failure. In this study, we evaluated the relationships between ET1, cardiac morphology, and incident heart failure or cardiovascular death in participants with no evidence of clinical cardiovascular disease at the time ET1 was measured. METHODS AND RESULTS: ET1 was measured in 1,361 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Angiogenesis Sub-Study. As suggested by linear regression, participants with lower circulating ET1 levels tended to be older, non-white, more likely to have smoked heavily, and less likely to report intentional exercise. Participants with higher ET1 levels had smaller left ventricular end-diastolic volumes (8.9 ml smaller per log increase in ET1, 95% confidence interval 17.1–0.7, p = 0.03) with an increased left ventricular ejection fraction (2.8% per log increase in ET1, 95% confidence interval 0.5%–5.2%, p = 0.02). As suggested by Cox Proportional Hazards estimates, participants with higher ET1 levels had a lower risk for the composite outcome of heart failure or cardiovascular death in models that were unadjusted or had limited adjustment (p = 0.03 and p = 0.05, respectively). Lower risk for heart failure with higher ET1 levels could not be clearly shown in a model including health behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest, but do not confirm, that elevated levels of circulating ET1 are associated with a more favorable cardiac phenotype. The relationship between ET1 and outcomes was not fully independent of one or more covariates.
- cardiac adaptation
- heart failure
- pulmonary hypertension
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine