Association of Circulating Renin and Aldosterone With Osteocalcin and Bone Mineral Density in African Ancestry Families
Hypertension is associated with accelerated bone loss, and the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system is a key regulator of blood pressure. Although components of this system are expressed in human bone cells, studies in humans are sparse. Thus, we studied the association of circulating renin and aldosterone with osteocalcin and bone mineral density. We recruited 373 African ancestry family members without regard to health status from 6 probands (mean family size: 62 and relative pairs: 1687). Participants underwent a clinical examination, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and quantitative computed tomographic scans. Renin activity, aldosterone concentration, and osteocalcin were measured in fasting blood samples. Aldosterone/renin ratio was calculated as aldosterone concentration/renin activity. All models were analyzed using pedigree-based variance components methods. Full models included adjustment for age, sex, body composition, comorbidities, lifestyle factors, blood pressure, and antihypertensive medication. Higher renin activity was significantly associated with lower total osteocalcin and with higher trabecular bone mineral density (both P<0.01). There were also significant genetic correlations between renin activity and whole-body bone mineral density. There were no associations with aldosterone concentration in any model and results for aldosterone/renin ratio were similar to those for renin activity. This is the first study to report a significant association between renin activity and a marker of bone turnover and bone mineral density in generally healthy individuals. Also, there is evidence for significant genetic pleiotropy and, thus, there may be a shared biological mechanism underlying both the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system and bone metabolism that is independent of hypertension.
- Received November 16, 2015.
- Revision received December 10, 2015.
- Accepted February 22, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.