© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.Risk models, informing optimal long-term medical management, seldom use natriuretic peptides (NP) in ascertaining the absolute risk of outcomes for HF patients. Individual studies evaluating the prognostic value of NPs in HF patients have reported varying effects, arriving at best estimates requires a systematic review. We systematically summarized the best evidence regarding the prognostic value of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and NT-proBNP in predicting mortality and hospitalizations in ambulatory heart failure (HF) patients. We searched bibliographic databases from 2005 to 2018 and included studies evaluating the association of BNP or NT-proBNP with mortality or hospitalization using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models. We pooled hazard ratios using random-effect models, explored heterogeneity using pre-specified subgroup analyses, and evaluated the certainty of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations and Development Evaluation framework. We identified 67 eligible studies reporting on 76,178 ambulatory HF patients with a median BNP of 407 pg/mL (261–574 pg/mL). Moderate to high-quality evidence showed that a 100-pg/mL increase in BNP was associated with a 14% increased hazard of mortality (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.06–1.22); a 1-log-unit increase was associated with a 51% increased hazard of mortality (HR 1.51, 95% CI 1.41–1.61) and 48% increased hazard of mortality or hospitalization (HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.29–1.69). With moderate to high certainty, we observed a 14% independent relative increase in mortality, translating to a clinically meaningful increase in absolute risk even for low-risk patients. The observed associations may help in developing more accurate risk models that incorporate NPs and accurately prognosticate HF patients.