Osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are worldwide public health issues. Recent evidence indicates a possible role of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway as a common mediator between these two diseases. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between serum concentrations of sclerostin and Dkk1, two extracellular inhibitors of Wnt/β-catenin signalling, with carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and with arterial stiffness, evaluated by measuring the pulse wave velocity (PWV) in an ambulatory population of adults. To this aim, 67 subjects were recruited in the 'Atherosclerosis and osteoporosis: identification of common pathogenetic factors' investigation. Serum sclerostin levels correlated positively with CIMT (r=0.314, p=0.03) and inversely with the augmentation index, a marker of arterial stiffness (r=-0.286, p<0.05), whereas Dkk1 did not. Moreover, in a multivariate linear regression model, sclerostin [β -0.1472; p=0.0023; standard error (SE)=0.04620] was an independent predictor of PWV in the study subjects. Our study shows that, following adjustment for confounders, sclerostin is an independent predictor of arterial stiffness in an ambulatory population, whereas Dkk1 is not.
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