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Metabolism. 2013 Jan;62(1):34-8. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.06.005. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

A comparison of osteoprotegerin with adiponectin and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) as a marker for insulin resistance.

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  • 1Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland.



Insulin resistance (IR) is associated with low adiponectin and elevated high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). Osteoprotegerin (OPG) has been shown to be elevated in type 2 diabetes, but whether it reflects underlying IR is unclear. We aimed to compare the ability of serum OPG with adiponectin and hsCRP to act as a marker for IR in individuals with normal and abnormal glucose tolerance.


115 men underwent a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test. OPG, hsCRP and adiponectin were measured using ELISA. IR was assessed using the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).


Men with abnormal glucose tolerance (n=38) were older (58.3±11.2 vs 47.3±11.4 years, P<.001), had higher body mass index (BMI) (31.1±2.9 vs 27.9±3.2 kg/m(2), P<.001) and were more insulin resistant (median (I.Q.) HOMA-IR 5.88 (3.38) vs 1.13 (1.14), P<.001) than those with normal glucose tolerance (n=77). After adjustment for age and BMI, OPG (6.28 (2.32) vs 5.16 (1.86) pmol/L, P<.001) and hsCRP (2.07 (5.47) vs 0.78 (1.05) mg/L, P<.001) were higher and adiponectin (3.02±1.17 vs 4.78±2.38 μg/mL, P<.001) was lower in those with AGT. After adjustment for age and BMI, adiponectin (r=-0.317, P<.001) and hsCRP (r=0.318, P<.001), but not OPG (r=0.126, P=.196) correlated with HOMA-IR. On multiple linear regression analysis, adiponectin and hsCRP but not OPG were independent predictors of HOMA-IR.


OPG is higher in individuals with abnormal glucose tolerance, but unlike adiponectin and hsCRP, does not correlate with HOMA-IR, suggesting its elevation within this cohort of individuals is due to factors other than insulin resistance.

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