Background: Postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMOP) is one of the main threats to the health of women, which makes the early detection of bone loss vital. Many studies were carried out dedicated to finding new parameters and improving the discovery rate of early stage bone loss in postmenopausal women. Periostin is a newly discovered secreted protein that has been reported to participate in the processes of many agerelated diseases including osteoporosis. But the potential of serum periostin being a predictive marker of early stage bone loss remains to be determined.
Methods: Two hundred thirty-seven Chinese postmenopausal women from the patients of General Hospital of Southern Theater Command of People’s Liberation Army were included as the subjects of this baseline study. Serum periostin level, BMD, the serum levels of a series of bone turnover markers (P1NP, β-CTx and N-MID Osteo-calcin) and serum PTH level were measured. The follow-up study included 81 subjects with baseline BMD T-score ≥ -1.0 SD. BMD data at one year after baseline was available for all 81 subjects. The changes of BMD in different quartiles of serum periostin level were investigated.
Results: Serum periostin level was correlated with age but no matter whether adjusted by age there were no significant correlations between serum periostin levels and BMD, PTH, P1NP, β-CTx, and N-MID-OT levels at baseline. There were no differences in serum periostin level between women with normal and abnormal BMD T-scores (p = 0.89). BMD data at one year after baseline indicated that the femur neck BMC and T-score became lower in women with higher baseline serum periostin (3/4 and 4/4 in quartiles, p = 0.025, p < 0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: Serum periostin is not a predictor of early stage bone loss in Chinese postmenopausal women. However, a downtrend of femur neck BMC was found in women who had a higher baseline serum periostin level at the one-year follow-up bone mineral densitometry, which suggests that the exact association between periostin, bone turnover, and fracture risk are worth further research and long-term clinical follow-up study.