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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008 Apr;63(4):414-9.

The metabolic syndrome is associated with circulating adipokines in older adults across a wide range of adiposity.

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  • 1Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.



Circulating levels of adipokines are elevated with adiposity and are closely linked with the clustering of traditional metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of metabolic syndrome to several adipokines and the role of total and visceral adiposity in influencing this relationship in older adults.


A cross-sectional analysis was conducted including 1914 individuals aged 70-79 years without cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. The metabolic syndrome was defined by the updated Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Circulating levels of leptin, adiponectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured. Body composition and abdominal visceral fat area were determined.


Both the presence of metabolic syndrome and the number of metabolic syndrome components were associated with higher levels of leptin, PAI-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and CRP and with lower levels of adiponectin (all p <.0001). The odds ratios for the prevalence of metabolic syndrome associated with adipokines were attenuated after adjustment for total fat mass and/or visceral fat area, but remained significant. Levels of leptin, PAI-1, IL-6, and TNF-alpha were higher (all p <.05 to p <.0001), and adiponectin was lower (all p <.0001), in persons with, compared to those without, metabolic syndrome within each tertile of percent body fat.


The metabolic syndrome is associated with adipokines in older adults across a wide range of adiposity, including in those with low or normal overall fatness.

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