Serum Cardiac Troponin T Levels in Asymptomatic Elderly Nursing Home Residents

Published:December 27, 2017DOI:



      The definition of myocardial infarction relies on elevated troponin levels. However, elevated levels of high sensitive cardiac troponin (hs-cTnT) assays have been reported in elderly patients without acute myocardial infarction. We sought to determine whether elevated hs-cTnT levels have a prognostic value in stable elderly subjects without any acute illness.


      The study cohort included residents of a nursing home who were asymptomatic without any acute medical problem. Serum hs-cTnT levels were measured, and participants were divided into high and low hs-cTnT groups. We measured hs-cTnT levels of young healthy volunteers as well and compared them with hs-cTnT levels of those nursing home residents.


      Fifty-seven nursing home residents and 14 young volunteers were included in the study. The average age of nursing home residents was 83 ± 14 years, compared with 37 ± 3 years of the volunteers. Levels of hs-cTnT were significantly higher in the elderly compared with the volunteers (0.02 ± 0.016 ng/mL vs 0.005 ± 0.0003 ng/mL; P < .001); accordingly, we chose a cutoff of 0.02 ng/mL hs-cTnT and divided the 57 patients into 2 subgroups for further evaluation. After adjustment for age, gender, and glomerular filtration rate, the hs-cTnT was still an independent predictor of 1-year mortality (relative risk 2.04 [95% conficence interval, 2.009-29.45], P = .003).


      Mild elevations of hs-cTnT levels are common in elderly patients, and hs-cTnT level is an independent marker of mortality risk in this population. For patients older than 70 years, a different hs-cTnT cutoff is required (eg, higher than 0.014 ng/mL).


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