High Serum Total Bilirubin as a Protective Factor Against Hip Bone Loss in Healthy Middle-Aged Men
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Bilirubin is known to have a physiologic role as an antioxidant that efficiently scavenges peroxyl radicals and suppresses oxidation, and oxidative stress has detrimental effects on bone metabolism. In the present study, we performed a 3-year longitudinal study of healthy middle-aged men, investigating the association between serum total bilirubin concentrations and annualized changes in bone mineral density (BMD). The study enrolled a total of 917 Korean men aged 40 years or older who had undergone comprehensive routine health examinations with an average follow-up interval of 3 years. BMD at proximal femur sites was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry using the same equipment at baseline and follow-up. The overall mean annualized rates of bone loss at the total femur, femoral neck, and trochanter were −0.25 %/year, −0.34 %/year, and −0.44 %/year, respectively. After adjustment for potential confounders, the rates of bone loss at all proximal femur sites were significantly attenuated in a dose–response fashion across increasing bilirubin concentrations (P = 0.006–0.046). Moreover, compared to subjects in the lowest bilirubin quartile category, those in the highest bilirubin quartile category showed significantly less bone loss at all proximal femur sites after adjustment for confounding factors (P = 0.010–0.048). This study provides the first clinical evidence that serum total bilirubin could be a protective marker against future bone loss, especially in subjects without liver diseases.
KeywordsBilirubin Bone loss Antioxidant Bone density
This study was supported by grants from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project and the National Project for Personalized Genomic Medicine, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (projects A110536 and A111218-GM03, respectively).
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