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J Atheroscler Thromb. 2011;18(7):592-5. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Relationships between circulating adiponectin levels and fat distribution in obese subjects.

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Department of Metabolic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Japan.



Most studies have reported that circulating levels of adiponectin are negatively correlated with the body mass index (BMI), and hypoadiponectinemia is related to cardiometabolic disorders; however, not all obese subjects have hypoadiponectinemia. The present study investigated circulating adiponectin levels and fat distribution, i.e. subcutaneous fat area (SFA) and visceral fat area (VFA), in obese subjects.


Sixty-eight obese Korean subjects underwent fat distribution by computed tomography (CT) scan and laboratory tests including circulating total adiponectin levels (APN) and circulating high molecular weight adiponectin levels (HMW-APN).


Log-APN and log-HMW-APN did not correlate with log-BMI either in obese males or females in this study; however, log-APN significantly and negatively correlated with log-VFA both in obese males (r=-0.691, p=0.009) and females (r=-0.319, p=0.002), and log-HMW-APN also correlated negatively with log-VFA both in obese males (r=-0.650, p=0.016) and females (r=-0.370, p=0.005). Log-VFA was a significant determinant of log-APN and log-HMW-APN in obese subjects. In contrast, neither log-APN nor log-HMW-APN was significantly correlated with log-SFA in obese males and females.


The present study demonstrated that APN and HMW-APN correlated with VFA, but not BMI and SFA, in obese subjects, and suggest that hypoadiponectinemia may represent dysfunction of adipose tissue in obesity.

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