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J Thromb Haemost. 2011 Apr;9(4):638-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2011.04222.x.

Serum osteoprotegerin is a predictor for incident cardiovascular disease and mortality in a general population: the Tromsø Study.

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Center for Atherothrombotic Research in Tromsø (CART), Department of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.



Osteoprotegerin (OPG) concentration in serum is associated with the presence and severity of atherosclerosis.


To investigate the association between serum osteoprotegerin and the risk of a future myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke and mortality in a general population.


OPG was measured in serum collected from 6265 subjects recruited from a general population without a prior myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke (the Tromsø Study). Incident myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke and mortality were registered during follow-up. Cox regression models were used to estimate crude and adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (HR; 95% CI).


There were 575 myocardial infarctions, 284 ischemic strokes and 824 deaths (146 deaths as a result of ischemic heart disease, 78 deaths because of stroke and 600 deaths due to other causes) in the cohort during a median of 10.6 years of follow-up. Serum OPG (per SD [1.13 ng mL(-1)] increase in OPG) was associated with an increased risk of a myocardial infarction (1.20; 1.11-1.31), ischemic stroke (1.32; 1.18-1.47), total mortality (1.34; 1.26-1.42), death because of ischemic heart disease, (1.35; 1.18-1.54), stroke (1.44; 1.19-1.75) and non-vascular causes (1.31; 1.22-1.41) after adjustment for age, gender, current smoking, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, creatinine, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) and diabetes mellitus or HbA1c > 6.1%. No association was detected between OPG and incident hemorrhagic stroke (1.02; 0.73-1.43).


Serum OPG was associated with future risk of myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, total mortality, mortality of ischemic heart disease, stroke and of non-vascular causes independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

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