Serum bone Gla protein (BGP) was measured by radioimmunoassay in 166 healthy men and women aged 30-90 years. Serum BGP levels increased with age in both sexes and were higher in women than in men at all ages. The most striking rise occurred in women after age 40-49. BGP was significantly correlated positively with serum alkaline phosphatase and negatively with midshaft and distal bone mass in both sexes. In women only, BGP levels were significantly positively related to levels of immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (iPTH). When age was included in the multiple regression analysis BGP was still correlated with alkaline phosphatase in both sexes and iPTH in women only. Serum BGP levels were significantly higher in 13 osteoporotic patients than in age-matched controls. It is postulated that with increasing age 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels fall, causing a rise in iPTH and thus in bone turnover, which is reflected by a rise in BGP levels.
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