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Ann Intern Med. 2008 Sep 2;149(5):307-16.

Total and high-molecular-weight adiponectin and resistin in relation to the risk for type 2 diabetes in women.

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Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Adiponectin and resistin are recently discovered adipokines that may provide a molecular link between adiposity and type 2 diabetes.


To evaluate whether total and high-molecular-weight adiponectin and resistin are associated with future risk for type 2 diabetes, independent of obesity and other known diabetes risk factors.


Prospective, nested, case-control study.


United States.


1038 initially healthy women of the Nurses' Health Study who developed type 2 diabetes after blood sampling (1989 to 1990) through 2002 and 1136 matched control participants.


Plasma concentrations of total and high-molecular-weight adiponectin and resistin.


In multivariate models including body mass index, higher total and high-molecular-weight adiponectin levels were associated with a substantially lower risk for type 2 diabetes (odds ratio [OR] comparing the highest with the lowest quintiles, 0.17 [95% CI, 0.12 to 0.25] for total adiponectin and 0.10 [CI, 0.06 to 0.15] for high-molecular-weight adiponectin). A higher ratio of high-molecular-weight to total adiponectin was associated with a statistically significantly lower risk even after adjustment for total adiponectin (OR, 0.45 [CI, 0.31 to 0.65]). In the multivariate model without body mass index, higher resistin levels were associated with a higher risk for diabetes (OR, 1.68 [CI, 1.25 to 2.25]), but the association was no longer statistically significant after adjustment for body mass index (OR, 1.28 [CI, 0.93 to 1.76]).


The findings apply mainly to white women and could be partly explained by residual confounding from imperfectly measured or unmeasured variables.


Adiponectin is strongly and inversely associated with risk for diabetes, independent of body mass index, whereas resistin is not. The ratio of high-molecular-weight to total adiponectin is related to risk for diabetes independent of total adiponectin, suggesting an important role of the relative proportion of high-molecular-weight adiponectin in diabetes pathogenesis.

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