Background: Adiponectin, leptin, and resistin are involved in bone metabolism, but the evidence regarding their effects is not conclusive. We analyzed the relationship between these adipokines, vitamin D, and bone health using a cluster analysis approach.
Methods: We used cross-sectional data coming from the InCHIANTI study, in which bone density and area were estimated using computed tomography. The sample size was 690 (women, 57.5%; mean age, 75.2 years; range, 65-102). Five clusters were generated on the basis of gender, age, adipokines, and vitamin D concentrations. The clusters were characterized, respectively, by higher resistin and older age (hR-O, n=134), higher vitamin D and younger age (hD-Y, n=152), higher adiponectin (hA, n=65), and higher leptin (hL, n=52). The last cluster had intermediate values of all the constituting variables (I, n=287). The clusters were compared with respect to bone parameters and clinical characteristics.
Results: Cluster hR-O had the lowest total and cortical bone density. Cluster hD-Y had the lowest adiponectin (9.29 g/mL) and leptin (7.9 ng/mL) serum concentrations, the highest prevalence of men (71.1%), and total/cortical bone density and area. No statistically significant difference across clusters was observed for age- and sex-standardized measures of bone mineral density and bone area, but leptin was associated with these parameters in a linear model adjusted for age, gender, vitamin D, resistin, and leptin.
Conclusions: In an elderly population, age and sex almost completely explain the variability in bone status across cluster characterized by different levels of circulating adipokines and vitamin D. The role of leptin, however, seems worthy of consideration.