Low serum osteocalcin level is a potential marker for metabolic syndrome: results from a Chinese male population survey

Metabolism. 2011 Aug;60(8):1186-92. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.01.002. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Osteocalcin has been recognized as a bone-derived hormone to regulate energy metabolism recently. Little is known about the role of osteocalcin as regards metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a Chinese population. Components of MetS, osteocalcin, body mass index (BMI), and prevalence of MetS were assessed in 2344 men aged 20 to 69 years who participated in the population-based Fangchenggang Area Male Health and Examination Survey, which was carried out in Guangxi province of China from September 2009 to December 2009. Osteocalcin had a statistically significant positive correlation with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a negative relationship with blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, waist circumference, and BMI after adjustment for age (all P < .001). The strongest correlation was observed between osteocalcin and BMI (r = -0.26). In a multivariate analysis, decreased odds ratios (ORs) for the MetS and its components as well were observed from the first to the fourth osteocalcin quartiles. After adjustment for BMI, the OR decreased substantially. Statistically significant difference still existed in MetS (OR, 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-2.85), hypertriglyceridemia (OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.22-2.27), hyperglycemia (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.05-1.92), and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.03-3.24) when these risks were compared in the lowest quartile of osteocalcin levels with those in the highest quartile. In a Chinese male population, we firstly identified an inverse association of serum osteocalcin levels with MetS, independent from the well-known MetS risk factors. This may represent a further mechanism for the elevated cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes mellitus risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Osteocalcin / blood*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference


  • Biomarkers
  • Osteocalcin