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Ethnicity and BNP

A sub-study of the ASCOT trial has found patient ethnicity could impact on BNP testing in the diagnosis of heart failure .

The study of 562 patients presented at the British Cardiac

Society conference in Glasgow found those of Caribbean or African origin had significantly lower BNP levels than white or south Asian counterparts.

Levels of BNP were 16.5pg/ml in African-Caribbean patients compared with 28.5pg/ml in white patients and 24.6pg/ml in south Asian patients.

The study, published online in Heart, also reported differences in BNP with age, serum creatinine and left-ventricular mass index.

Professor Alun Hughes, a study researcher and professor of clinical pharmacology at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, said: 'Clearly this is an area that needs to be looked into further.'

But he added he was being 'reasonably cautious' about the results because of the relatively small ethnic group sample sizes.

Dr Rubin Minhas, a GP in Gillingham and chair of the South Asian Health Foundation, said: 'We need more evidence to guide management and care of ethnic groups.'

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