Osteocalcin (bone GLA protein) levels, vascular calcifications, vertebral fractures and mortality in hemodialysis patients with diabetes mellitus
Background and aims
Diabetes mellitus is recognized as one of the major causes of end stage kidney disease. Bone Gla protein (BGP) is a vitamin K-dependent protein involved in bone mineralization and vascular calcifications (VC). Our goal was to characterize BGP and undercarboxylated BGP (ucBGP) in DM patients on HD, compared to HD patients without DM, and their association with vascular and bone disease.
387 HD patients from 18 dialysis centers in Italy. Associations of DM, levels of BGP, vitamin D and VC were evaluated. Time-to-event analysis for all-cause mortality was performed by the Kaplan–Meier.
Patients with DM had lower levels of total BGP (139.00 vs. 202.50 mcg/L, p < 0.001), 25(OH)D (23.4 vs. 30.2 ng/ml, p < 0.001), and ucBGP (9.24 vs. 11.32 mcg/L, p = 0.022). In regression models, the geometric means of total BGP and ucBGP were 19% (p = 0.009) and 26% (p = 0.034) lower in diabetic patients. In univariate Cox regression analysis, DM patients had a higher risk of all-cause mortality (HR:1.83, 95% CI 1.13–2.96, p = 0.014). Adjustment for confounders confirmed the significant DM-mortality link. We included VC and warfarin into the Cox model, the DM-mortality link was no longer significant, suggesting a role of these risk factors as causal mediators leading to increased mortality in dialysis patients.
HD patients have an increased mortality risk associated with DM. Furthermore, we found an association between DM and decreased BGP levels. Although our study does not support the notion that BGP levels act as mediator in the DM-mortality link, to our knowledge this is the first study in HD patients suggesting a potential protective role of BGP in the bone, endocrine and vascular pathway.
KeywordsDiabetes mellitus BGP Vitamin K Hemodialysis
We thank the VIKI Study Investigators, who provided patient clinical care and collected clinical data.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This was an observational study conducted at 18 dialysis centers in Italy. All the local ethics committees approved the study, which was conducted according to the regulations in force related to observational studies. Approval dates ranged from July 14, 2008 to October 26, 2009. Patient enrollment took place between November 2008 and November 2009, and follow-up to assess vital status was performed in December 2011.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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