Context: Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) is an indicator of cardiovascular risk, especially in the diseases characterized by insulin resistance such as type 2 diabetes. Osteocalcin is a bone-secreted hormone that favors insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion.
Objectives: We investigated whether total serum osteocalcin level at baseline is associated with AAC progression and 10-year all-cause mortality in elderly men.
Design and participants: We assessed 774 men aged 51-85 years from the MINOS cohort who had osteocalcin measurement and lumbar spine radiographs at baseline. They were followed-up prospectively for 10 years. Among them, 615 patients had a follow-up radiograph at 3.5 or 7 years.
Main outcome measures: Serum total osteocalcin was measured with an immunoradiometric assay on morning fasting serum collected at baseline. Kauppila's AAC score was assessed from lumbar spine radiographs. AAC progression rate was calculated as the difference between AAC on the last available radiograph and AAC at baseline divided by the follow-up time. Death status was collected over 10 years.
Results: In multivariate analysis, higher baseline total osteocalcin was associated with lower AAC progression rate (odds ratio = 0.74 [0.57-0.97] per 10 ng/mL variation; P = 0.029). At the 10-year follow-up, there were 599 men alive (77%), 181 dead (23%), and 2 lost to follow-up. Higher osteocalcin was associated with lower 10-year all-cause mortality (hazard ratio = 0.62 [0.44-0.86] per 10 ng/mL variation; P = 0.005).
Conclusion: Higher baseline total osteocalcin concentrations were associated with lower AAC progression rate and lower mortality. These data suggest that osteocalcin level might be an independent indicator of cardiovascular risk and global health in elderly Caucasian men.