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Ann Epidemiol. 2011 Feb;21(2):86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.10.011. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Serum adiponectin in relation to body mass index and other correlates in black and white women.

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Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.



Adiponectin is a promising biomarker linking obesity and disease risk; however, limited data are available regarding adiponectin in black women among whom obesity is highly prevalent.


A cross-sectional analysis was conducted to assess racial differences and correlates of serum adiponectin measured in 996 black and 996 white women enrolled in the Southern Community Cohort Study through Community Health Centers in 12 southeastern states from 2002 to 2006.


Black subjects had significantly lower adiponectin levels than white subjects (median 10.9 vs 14.9 μg/mL, Wilcoxon p < .0001). Among black subjects, adiponectin was lower among overweight and obese women compared with healthy weight women but showed no clear decreasing trend with increasing severity of obesity; adjusted geometric means (95% confidence interval) were 15.0 [13.8-16.4], 11.5 [10.6-12.5], 9.7 [9.0-10.6], 11.4 [10.3-12.6], and 10.9 [9.5-12.6] μg/mL for body mass index [BMI] categories of 18.5-24.9, 25-29.9, 30-34.9, 35-39.9, and 40-45, p for trend <.0001). In contrast, among whites there was a monotonic reduction in adiponectin over increasing BMI (adjusted geometric means = 19.9 [18.3-21.7], 15.1 [13.9-16.4], 14.3 [13.2-15.5], 12.5 [11.2-13.9], and 11.0 [9.7-12.5] μg/mL, p for trend <.0001). BMI, age, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and hypertension were important correlates of adiponectin in both groups.


Among women, racial differences exist in both the magnitude and form of the adiponectin-BMI association.

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