Background Epidemiologic data for cardiac abnormality predating decreased kidney function are sparse. We investigated the associations of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) risk in a community-based cohort. Study Design A prospective cohort study. Setting & Participants 10,749 white and black participants at the fourth visit (1996-1998) of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study with follow-up through 2010. Predictor hs-cTnT (3, 6, 9, and 14 ng/L) and NT-proBNP (41.6, 81.0, 142.5, and 272.5 pg/mL) levels were divided into 5 categories at the same percentiles (32th, 57th, 77th, and 91th; corresponding to ordinary thresholds of hs-cTnT), with the lowest category as a reference. Outcomes Incident ESRD defined as initiation of dialysis therapy, transplantation, or death due to kidney disease. Measurements Relative risk and risk prediction of ESRD according to hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP levels based on Cox proportional hazards models. Results During a median follow-up of 13.1 years, 235 participants developed ESRD (1.8 cases/1,000 person-years). hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP levels were associated with ESRD risk independently of each other and of potential confounders, including kidney function and albuminuria (adjusted HRs for highest category, 4.43 [95% CI, 2.43-8.09] and 2.28 [95% CI, 1.44-3.60], respectively). For hs-cTnT level, the association was significant even at the third category (HR for 6-8 ng/L of hs-cTnT, 2.74 [95% CI, 1.54-4.88]). Their associations were largely consistent even among persons without decreased kidney function or history of cardiovascular disease. hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP levels both significantly improved ESRD prediction (C statistic differences of 0.0084 [95% CI, 0.0005-0.0164] and 0.0045 [95% CI, 0.0004-0.0087], respectively, from 0.884 with conventional risk factors). Limitations Relatively small number of ESRD cases and single measurement of hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP. Conclusions hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP levels independently predicted ESRD risk in the general population, with more evident results for hs-cTnT. These results suggest the involvement of cardiac abnormality, particularly cardiac injury, in the progression of reduced kidney function and/or may reflect the useful property of hs-cTnT as an end-organ damage marker.