Multimarkers of metabolic malnutrition and inflammation and their association with mortality risk in cardiac catheterisation patients: a prospective, longitudinal, observational, cohort study

James D. Otvos*, Irina Shalaurova, Heidi T. May, Joseph B. Muhlestein, John T. Wilkins, Robert W. McGarrah, William E. Kraus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Complex and incompletely understood metabolic dysfunction associated with inflammation and protein–energy wasting contribute to the increased mortality risk of older patients and those with chronic organ diseases affected by cachexia, sarcopenia, malnutrition, and frailty. However, these wasting syndromes have uncertain relevance for patients with cardiovascular disease or people at lower risk. Studies are hampered by imperfect objective clinical assessment tools for these intertwined metabolic malnutrition and inflammation syndromes. We aimed to assess, in two independent cohorts of patients who underwent cardiac catheterisation, the mortality risk associated with the metabolic vulnerability index (MVX), a multimarker derived from six simultaneously measured serum biomarkers plausibly linked to these dysmetabolic syndromes. Methods: In this prospective, longitudinal, observational study, we included patients aged ≥18 years recruited into the CATHGEN biorepository (Jan 2, 2001, to Dec 30, 2011) and the Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study (Sept 12, 2000, to Sept 21, 2006) who underwent coronary angiography and had clinical nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic profiling done on frozen plasma obtained at catheterisation. We aggregated six mortality risk biomarkers (GlycA, small HDL, valine, leucine, isoleucine, and citrate concentrations) into sex-specific MVX multimarker scores using coefficients from predictive models for all-cause mortality in the CATHGEN cohort. We assessed associations of biomarkers and MVX with mortality in both cohorts using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for 15 clinical covariates. Findings: We included 5876 participants from the CATHGEN biorepository and 2888 from the Intermountain Heart study. Median follow-up was 6·2 years (IQR 4·4–8·9) in CATHGEN and 8·2 years (6·9–9·2) in the Intermountain Heart study. The six nuclear magnetic resonance biomarkers and MVX made strong, independent contributions to 5-year mortality risk prediction in both cohorts (hazard ratio 2·18 [95% CI 2·03–2·34] in the CATHGEN cohort and 1·67 [1·50–1·87] in the Intermountain Heart cohort). CATHGEN subgroup analyses showed similar MVX associations in men and women, older and younger individuals, for death from cardiovascular or non-cardiovascular causes, and in patients with or without multiple comorbidities. Interpretation: MVX made a dominant contribution to mortality prediction in patients with cardiovascular disease and in low-risk subgroups without pre-existing disease, suggesting that metabolic malnutrition–inflammation syndromes might have a more universal role in survival than previously thought. Funding: Labcorp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e72-e82
JournalThe Lancet Healthy Longevity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Family Practice


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