Galectin-3 and risk of heart failure and death in blacks and whites

John W. McEvoy, Yuan Chen, Marc K. Halushka, Eric Christenson, Christie M. Ballantyne, Roger S. Blumenthal, Robert H. Christenson, Elizabeth Selvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background--The association between galectin-3 and heart failure (HF) or death is well established for white, but not for black, adults. Methods and Results--Galectin-3 was measured in 1809 participants (1375 white, 434 black), enrolled in a substudy of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) observational cohort during 2004-2005. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the adjusted association between galectin-3 and outcomes. Analyses were conducted overall and by race category. Median (interquartile range) galectin-3 levels were 13.4 (11.2-16.4) and 14.8 (12-17.6) ng/mL, in white and black participants, respectively. In the sample overall, galectin-3 was not independently associated with HF or death over a maximum of 7.9 years. However, in race-stratified analyses, galectin-3 was independently associated with a composite of HF or death among whites (eg, hazard ratio 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-3.9, comparing Q4 versus Q1); but not among blacks (hazard ratio of 0.8 [0.4-1.8] for Q4 versus Q1, race interaction P=0.03). Associations between galectin-3 and both outcomes analyzed individually also demonstrated similar racial differences. Furthermore, results were qualitatively similar with galectin-3 modeled as a continuous exposure. In addition, galectin-3 improved discrimination for the composite of HF or death among whites (increase in Harrell's C statistic from 0.729 to 0.735 [difference of +0.006], P=0.049), but not among blacks (0.696 to 0.695 [difference of -0.001], P=0.814). Conclusions--In contrast to whites, galectin-3 may have limited prognostic utility for predicting HF and death in blacks. While our results require replication, they could reflect racial differences in the processes by which galectin-3 mediates disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere003079
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Biomarker
  • Death
  • Galectin-3
  • Heart failure
  • Race and ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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