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Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018 Dec 17;15:89. doi: 10.1186/s12986-018-0325-4. eCollection 2018.

Association of serum glycine levels with metabolic syndrome in an elderly Chinese population.

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1Peking University Fifth School of Clinical Medicine, The MOH Key Laboratory of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, Beijing, 100730 People's Republic of China.
2Department of Cardiology, Beijing Hospital, Beijing, 100730 People's Republic of China.



Several studies have identified a negative association between serum glycine (Gly) levels and metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, this association has not been fully established in the elderly.


A total of 472 Chinese individuals (272 males and 200 females, 70.1 ± 6.6 years old) participated in a population-based, cross-sectional survey in Beijing Hospital. The MetS and its components were defined based on the 2006 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) standard for Asians. Serum Gly concentration was determined using isotope dilution liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.


The proportion of patients with MetS decreased gradually with increasing Gly levels (p for trend < 0.001), and serum Gly concentrations declined gradually with increasing numbers of MetS components (p = 0.03 for trend). After adjusting for age and gender, lower Gly levels were significantly associated with MetS and central obesity, with OR (95% CI) of 0.40 (0.25-0.65) and 0.46 (0.28-0.74). The stratified analysis conducted according to age showed that the OR between serum Gly levels and MetS was greater in those older than 65 (OR = 0.66; 95% CI, 0.51-0.86) than in those younger than 65 (OR = 0.89; 95% CI, 0.54-1.46). In the stratified analysis, using other age cut-off points, the results consistently showed that the association between serum Gly levels and MetS was more remarkable in the older groups.


Gly levels are associated with cardiometabolic characteristics and MetS in the elderly, and the association is more pronounced in very old people than in younger old people.


Elderly; Metabolic syndrome; Serum glycine

Conflict of interest statement

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Beijing Hospital of the Ministry of Health, and written, informed consents were obtained from all participants.Not applicable.The authors declare that they have no competing interests.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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