Diabetes research and clinical practice

High plasma fetuin-A levels are associated with metabolic syndrome among males but not females in a Japanese general population.

PMID 25110104


Fetuin-A, a protein exclusively secreted from the liver, is associated with insulin resistance and/or metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, few studies have examined this association in Japan. We investigated this issue in a Japanese general population. We performed an epidemiological survey in a small community in Japan. The participants consisted of 659 subjects (253 males and 406 females). Fetuin-A levels were measured by a sandwich ELISA method and the modified NCEP-ATP III criteria were adopted to diagnose MetS. The homeostasis model assessment index (HOMA-IR) was calculated as a marker of insulin resistance. Statistically significant characteristics of the 659 subjects stratified by fetuin-A quartiles were male gender (inversely), age (inversely), insulin, HOMA-IR, uric acid (inversely), alcohol intake (inversely) and the prevalence of MetS. Mean fetuin-A levels were 249.7±45.1μg/ml in males and 262.7±55.8μg/ml in females. In males, the prevalence of MetS was 43.1%, and their mean HOMA-IR level was 1.1. In females, the prevalence of MetS was 17.7%, and their mean HOMA-IR level was 0.9. Multiple stepwise regression analyses showed that fetuin-A levels in males but not females were independently associated with MetS and LDL-c. Multiple logistic regression analysis of fetuin-A (quartile 1 vs. quartile 4) in males showed significant odds ratios of 1.009 (95% C.I.: 1.003-1.015) for MetS and 1.376 (95% C.I.: 1.027-1.844) for 1-SD increment increase in LDL-c. High plasma fetuin-A levels were associated with MetS in community-dwelling Japanese males but not females.