Objectives The role of faecal haemoglobin as a colorectal cancer screening tool has been demonstrated. However, the association between the faecal haemoglobin concentration and the risk of cardiovascular disease events and deaths is still unclear. Design Cohort study design. Setting Population-based organised integrated service screening in Keelung City, Taiwan Participants A total of 33 355 healthy individuals aged over 40 years who were free of cardiovascular disease at study entry were followed up. Main outcomes and measures Newly diagnosed cardiovascular disease events and deaths. Results After a median follow-up of 2.39 years, a total of 2768 participants developed cardiovascular events, and after a median follow-up of 8.43 years, 317 cases of cardiovascular deaths occurred. The risk of cardiovascular disease increased with baseline faecal haemoglobin in a dose-response manner, yielding a significant elevated risk of cardiovascular disease in parallel with the incremental concentration of faecal haemoglobin (adjusted HRs=1.04, 1.10, 1.40 and 1.23 for faecal haemoglobin concentrations of 1-19, 20-49, 50-99 and ≥100 ng/mL, trend test, p<0.0001, as compared with the reference group with undetectable faecal haemoglobin concentrations). A similar pattern was observed for the risk of cardiovascular disease deaths. In addition, the faecal haemoglobin improved the prediction performance of the model for the risk of cardiovascular diseases; the integrated discrimination improvement was 0.3% (p<0.001) for cardiovascular events and 0.1% (p=0.020) for cardiovascular deaths. Conclusions Our data support that faecal haemoglobin concentrations may be associated with the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The biological mechanisms underlying the role of faecal haemoglobin as health outcomes should be investigated.
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