Background: Biochemical markers of bone turnover are lower in patients with type 2 diabetes, which may be explained by genetic variants being associated with type 2 diabetes and bone turnover as well as environmental factors. We hypothesized that bone turnover markers associate with and predict changes in glucose homeostasis after control for genetics and shared environment. Methods: 1071 healthy, non-diabetic (at baseline, 1997–2000) adult mono- and dizygotic twins participating in the prospective study GEMINAKAR were reassessed between 2010 and 2012 with clinical evaluation, biochemical tests and oral glucose tolerance test. Fasting bone turnover markers (CTX, P1NP and osteocalcin) were measured. The association between bone turnover, glucose homeostasis and the ability of bone turnover markers to predict changes in glucose homeostasis were assessed in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Analyses were performed both at an individual level and adjusted for shared environmental and genetic factors. Results: Glucose levels increased with age, and 33 (3%) participants had developed type 2 diabetes at follow-up. In women, bone turnover markers increased with age, whereas for men only osteocalcin increased with age. Bone turnover markers were not associated with fasting glucose, insulin, or HOMA-IR at baseline or follow-up before or after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, smoking, and use of medication at baseline. Variation in bone turnover markers was mainly explained by unique environmental factors, 70%, 70% and 55% for CTX, P1NP and osteocalcin, respectively, whereas additive genetic factors explained 7%, 13% and 45% of the variation in CTX, P1NP and osteocalcin. Conclusions: Bone turnover markers were not associated with baseline plasma glucose levels and did not predict changes in glucose homeostasis. Variation in bone turnover markers is mainly explained by environmental factors, however, compared to CTX and P1NP, genetic factors have a larger impact on osteocalcin levels.
- Bone turnover markers
- Glucose homeostasis