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Obes Res. 2003 Nov;11(11):1384-90.

Lower serum adiponectin levels in African-American boys.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 541 North Clinical Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5111, USA.



To examine adiponectin, an adipocyte-secreted hormone with anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects, in relation to race or gender in younger subjects.


The relationship of adiponectin, quantitated by radioimmunoassay, to anthropometric and metabolic factors (fasting insulin, glucose, and leptin) and reproductive hormones was examined in 46 healthy African Americans (25 girls/21 boys) and 40 whites (20 girls/20 boys) ranging in age from 12 to 21 years.


There was no statistical difference in BMI or in BMI percentile among the four groups. Sums of skinfolds, but not skinfold percentile, were significantly lower in boys than girls (p = 0.001 and p = 0.896, respectively), whereas there was no difference between racial groups. Leptin was significantly greater in girls (p = 0.0002). There was no difference in fasting serum glucose, insulin, or homeostasis model assessment score among any of the groups. There was a significant negative univariate relationship between serum adiponectin and both BMI and BMI percentile for the entire group (p = 0.006 and p = 0.005). In a multivariate model, BMI percentile (p = 0.005) and the interaction between race and gender (p = 0.026) were significant predictors of serum adiponectin. In this model, African-American boys had the lowest serum adiponectin level, 37% less than white boys, who had the highest adiponectin levels.


Serum adiponectin levels are reduced in young obese subjects (African Americans and whites) and are lower in African-American boys than white boys. A lower adiponectin level in African-American boys may predispose this group to a greater risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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