Objectives.—To document the various laboratory and demographic/historical correlates of NT-proBNP levels in applicants for life insurance, and to explore the accuracy of a prediction model based on those variables.

Method.—NT-proBNP blood test results were obtained from 1.34 million insurance applicants between the age of 50 and 85 years, beginning in 2003. Exploratory data analysis was carried out to document correlations with other laboratory variables, sex, age, and the presence of relevant diseases. Further, predictive models were used to quantify the proportion of the variance of NT-proBNP, which can be explained by a combination of these other, easier to determine variables.

Results.—NT-proBNP shows the expected, negative correlation with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is markedly higher in those with a history of heart disease and is somewhat higher in those with a history of hypertension. A strong, unexpected, negative correlation between NT-proBNP and albumin was discovered. Of the variables evaluated, a multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) model automated selection procedure selected 7 variables (age, sex, albumin, eGFR, BMI, systolic blood pressure, cholesterol, and history of heart disease). Variable importance evaluation determined that age, albumin and eGFR were the 3 most important continuous variables in the prediction of NT-proBNP levels. An ordinary least squares (OLS) model using these same variables achieved a R-squared of 24.7%.

Conclusion.—Expected ranges of NT-proBNP may vary substantially depending on the value of other variables in the prediction equation. Albumin is significantly negatively correlated with NT-proBNP levels. The reasons for this are unclear.

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