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Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 May;32(5):772-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803793. Epub 2008 Feb 5.

Circulating adiponectin levels associate with inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome independent of obesity.

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Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Campus of the Heart Research Institute of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.



Adiponectin is an abundantly expressed adipocyte-specific protein, whose level is decreased in obesity, and which appears to be a key participant in developing inflammation, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (MetS). We examined whether the relationship between adiponectin and inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and MetS was independent of obesity.


The study was performed in 1094 men and women, aged 27-77 years, from a representative community population. We measured serum inflammatory markers, homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and prevalent MetS using National Cholesterol Education Program ATPIII criteria. Sex- and age-adjusted plasma adiponectin concentration was inversely correlated with body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio, diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, glucose and fasting insulin, and positively correlated with HDL cholesterol (all P<0.005). Log plasma adiponectin was a significant negative correlate of the levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, interleukin-18, fibrinogen and white cell count independent of level of obesity. Log plasma adiponectin was also an inverse associate of log HOMA-IR (P<0.001) independent of obesity. Subjects in the top compared to bottom sex-specific plasma adiponectin quartile had a multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.21 (95% CI, 0.11-0.42; P<0.001) for prevalent MetS, and the association was independent of age, sex, BMI, log insulin and log interleukin-18 levels.


Our findings suggest that higher circulating adiponectin levels may mitigate against adipose-related inflammation, insulin resistance and MetS as much in lean as obese persons. At any rate circulating adiponectin level is a strong risk marker for MetS, which is independent of measures of adiposity, insulin resistance and inflammatory markers.

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