Objective Body weight is a significant predictor of bone mass. Hormonal factors such as sex hormones, insulin, leptin and adiponectin are thought to play a role in the mechanisms controlling the association of body weight and fat mass with bone mass. However, contradictory results have been reported for the association between serum adipocytokines and bone mineral density (BMD). We therefore examined whether the serum adipocytokine and ghrelin levels, markers of fat metabolism, are associated with BMD in male adults.

Patients and measurements For 80 male adults (average age 54·5 ± 6·4 years; average body mass index (BMI) 24·4 ± 2·5 kg/m2), the correlations between serum resistin, leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin levels with BMD were investigated.

Results Among the adipocytokines, serum resistin levels were negatively correlated with lumbar spine BMD (r = 0·237, P = 0·05). After adjustment was made for age and BMI, log-transformed serum leptin showed a significant negative correlation with lumbar spine BMD, which was not seen on bivariate analysis (r = 0·237, P = 0·039). Femoral neck BMD was marginally associated only with serum adiponectin levels (r = 0·226, P = 0·062). In multiple regression analyses, among the adipokines, only resistin was a significant determinant of lumbar spine BMD, although the variance was small (R2 = 0·256). Serum ghrelin levels were not correlated with the BMD of either body site.

Conclusions Serum resistin level showed a significant negative correlation with lumbar spine BMD, although the variance was small. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of adipocytokines in bone metabolism.