Biomarkers Consortium - The Performance of Novel Cardiac Biomarkers in the General U.S. Population

Developing tools to assess Americans’ risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular disease

The Problem
Cardiovascular disease is one of the most lethal conditions in the United States, yet researchers lack the tools needed to assess an individual’s risk of developing or dying from this disease.
The Solution
This project will establish “normal” reference levels of several biomarkers and determine these biomarkers’ ability to predict deaths from cardiovascular disease in the general U.S. population, as well as in various demographic subgroups.


The Biomarkers Consortium’s Novel Cardiac Biomarkers in the General US Population (the Cardiac Troponin Project) seeks to define the reference ranges, and to generate the epidemiologic basis, for the use of several significant novel cardiac and related biomarkers for cardiovascular risk stratification in the general U.S. population. The project will measure a panel of biomarkers in almost 30,000 individuals in a national study and will provide key reference data regarding novel biomarkers for cardiovascular risk stratification. This reference data will in turn inform U.S. clinical and laboratory guidelines for cardiovascular diseases.


Public-Sector Partners

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Private-Sector Partners

  • Abbott Labs*
  • AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP*
  • Janssen L.P.
  • Johnson & Johnson*
  • Ortho Clinical Diagnosistics*
  • National Dairy Institute*
  • Roche Diagnostics*
  • Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.*

Academic Partners

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Vermont  

*Provided financial or in-kind support for this program.

FNIH Contact

  • Helen Heymann, MMSC, Scientific Project Manager, Metabolic Disorders;


  • Define the reference ranges of several biomarkers (i.e., hs-cTnT, hs-cTnI  and NT-proBNP) in a healthy subgroup of young adults (N=1,938) and describe age-, gender- and race-specific population values.
  • Characterize the associations of these biomarkers (i.e., hs-cTnT, hs-cTnI  and NT-proBNP) with cardiovascular and total mortality in the U.S. population without clinical cardiovascular disease and compare hs-cTnT to hs-cTnI head-to-head for their ability to predict mortality risk.

Results & Accomplishments

  • Peer reviewed publications and final dataset made publicly available on NHANES' website