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Diabet. Med. 30, 309–317 (2013)

Abstract

Aim  To assess the relationship between serum total osteocalcin and measurements of adiposity, glucose tolerance, lipid profile, adipokine and chronic low-grade inflammation in middle-aged and elderly Chinese subjects.

Methods  We performed a cross-sectional community-based study in central Shanghai. Serum total osteocalcin was measured by radioimmunoassay in 783 men and 946 post-menopausal women. Their associations with measurements of adiposity, glucose tolerance, lipid profile and chronic low-grade inflammation were examined.

Results  Serum total osteocalcin levels revealed a sexual dimorphism, with post-menopausal women having significantly higher levels than men (< 0.001). Serum osteocalcin levels of participants with self-reported cardiovascular disease were significantly lower (= 0.044) than those without. In men, serum osteocalcin levels of participants with the metabolic syndrome were significantly lower than those without the metabolic syndrome (= 0.036). Serum osteocalcin correlated negatively with fasting serum insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, alanine aminotransferase, triglycerides and total cholesterol, and positively with homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function in both men and post-menopausal women (all < 0.05). In men, serum osteocalcin correlated negatively with BMI, diastolic blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and 2-h oral glucose tolerance test glucose after adjustment for age (all < 0.05). In post-menopausal women, serum osteocalcin correlated negatively with waist–hip ratio, LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein, and positively with adiponectin (all < 0.05). Serum osteocalcin was not associated with CXC chemokine ligand 5 level (> 0.05). Alanine aminotransferase was an independent predictor of serum osteocalcin in both men and post-menopausal women (both < 0.001). Adiponectin was an independent predictor of serum osteocalcin in post-menopausal women (= 0.011). Serum osteocalcin was an independent predictor of homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function in both genders (both < 0.05).

Conclusions  Serum total osteocalcin was closely associated with glucose and lipid metabolism in both Chinese men and post-menopausal women.