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Maturitas. 2013 Oct;76(2):146-50. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Bone metabolism regulators and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.

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Second Internal Medicine Department, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.



Osteoprotegerin (OPG), osteopontin (OPN) and matrix Gla protein (MGP) are markers of bone metabolism but they are also involved in vascular calcification. However, their precise role is not completely understood. Arterial stiffness is considered an independent predictor of cardiovascular events and it may be one of the causes of the increased cardiovascular risk associated with postmenopausal status. Medial and intimal calcification may increase arterial stiffness. The aim of our study was to assess the relationship of OPG, OPN and MGP with aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) as a marker of arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.


Circulating OPG, OPN and serum total MGP were measured in 144 postmenopausal women using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Aortic PWV was determined by an oscillometric method.


Osteoprotegerin correlated with age (p<0.001, r=0.27), aPWV (p<0.001, r=0.32) and hypersensitive C reactive protein (hsCRP) (p<0.001, r=0.37), OPN correlated directly with hsCRP (p<0.001, r=0.39) and inversely with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (p=0.02, r=-0.02). No significant association was found between total MGP and clinical, biochemical and vascular parameters. The correlation between OPG and aPWV persisted even after the adjustment for various potential confounders (p=0.02, r=0.19). In multiple regression analysis in the whole study population the most important predictors of aPWV were OPG (β=0.230, p=0.006), hsCRP (β=0.212, p=0.01) and systolic blood pressure (β=0.163, p=0.04). After exclusion of patients treated with statins the independent predictors were hsCRP (β=0.275, p=0.005) and OPG (β=0.199, p=0.04).


Circulating OPG, but not OPN and total MGP, is associated with aPWV and may be a marker of the increased arterial stiffness and cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women.


Arterial stiffness; Postmenopausal women; Regulators of bone metabolism

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