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BACKGROUND: Cardiac troponin is an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in individuals without symptoms or signs of cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms for this association are uncertain, and a role for troponin testing in the prevention of coronary heart disease has yet to be established. OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether troponin concentration could predict coronary events, be modified by statins, and reflect response to therapy in a primary prevention population. METHODS: WOSCOPS (West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study) randomized men with raised low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and no history of myocardial infarction to pravastatin 40 mg once daily or placebo for 5 years. Plasma cardiac troponin I concentration was measured with a high-sensitivity assay at baseline and at 1 year in 3,318 participants. RESULTS: Baseline troponin was an independent predictor of myocardial infarction or death from coronary heart disease (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.4 to 3.7) for the highest (≥5.2 ng/l) versus lowest (≤3.1 ng/l) quarter of troponin (p < 0.001). There was a 5-fold greater reduction in coronary events when troponin concentrations decreased by more than a quarter, rather than increased by more than a quarter, for both placebo (HR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.12 to 0.72 vs. HR: 1.95; 95% CI: 1.09 to 3.49; p < 0.001 for trend) and pravastatin (HR: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.53 vs. HR: 1.08; 95% CI: 0.53 to 2.21; p < 0.001 for trend). Pravastatin reduced troponin concentration by 13% (10% to 15%; placebo adjusted, p < 0.001) and doubled the number of men whose troponin fell more than a quarter (p < 0.001), which identified them as having the lowest risk for future coronary events (1.4% over 5 years). CONCLUSIONS: Troponin concentration predicts coronary events, is reduced by statin therapy, and change at 1 year is associated with future coronary risk independent of cholesterol lowering. Serial troponin measurements have major potential to assess cardiovascular risk and monitor the impact of therapeutic interventions.

Original publication




Journal article


J am coll cardiol

Publication Date





2719 - 2728


cardiac troponin, cardiovascular risk, primary prevention, statins, Coronary Disease, Electrocardiography, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Primary Prevention, Prognosis, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Scotland, Survival Rate, Troponin I