This study states that A systemic proinflammatory state has been hypothesized to mediate the association between comorbidities and abnormal cardiac structure/function in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We conducted a proteomic analysis to investigate this paradigm.

In 228 patients with HFpEF from the multicenter PROMIS-HFpEF study (Prevalence of Microvascular Dysfunction in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction), 248 unique circulating proteins were quantified by a multiplex immunoassay (Olink) and used to recapitulate systemic inflammation. In a deductive approach, we performed principal component analysis to summarize 47 proteins known a priori to be involved in inflammation. In an inductive approach, we performed unbiased weighted coexpression network analyses of all 248 proteins to identify clusters of proteins that overrepresented inflammatory pathways. We defined comorbidity burden as the sum of 8 common HFpEF comorbidities. We used multivariable linear regression and statistical mediation analyses to determine whether and to what extent inflammation mediates the association of comorbidity burden with abnormal cardiac structure/function in HFpEF. We also externally validated our findings in an independent cohort of 117 HFpEF cases and 30 comorbidity controls without heart failure.

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