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J Lipid Res. 2005 Nov;46(11):2398-404. Epub 2005 Aug 16.

Decreased adiponectin levels in familial combined hyperlipidemia patients contribute to the atherogenic lipid profile.

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Department of Medicine and Division of General Internal Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCH) is characterized by increased levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and/or apolipoprotein B. Other features of FCH are obesity and insulin resistance. Adiponectin is a secretory product of the adipose tissue. Low levels of adiponectin are associated with insulin resistance and accelerated atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to determine whether decreased adiponectin levels are associated with FCH and its phenotypes. The study population comprised 644 subjects, including 158 patients with FCH. Serum adiponectin levels were determined using a commercially available ELISA. For both males and females, the mean adiponectin level (microg/ml) was significantly lower in FCH patients [2.0 (1.8-2.2) and 2.5 (2.3-2.8), respectively] compared with normolipidemic relatives [2.3 (2.2-2.5) and 3.1 (2.8-3.3), respectively] and spouses [2.4 (2.1-2.7) and 3.2 (2.8-3.6), respectively]. These differences remain significant after adjusting for waist circumference and insulin resistance. Low adiponectin level in FCH patients was a superior independent predictor of the atherogenic lipid profile, including high triglyceride levels, low HDL-cholesterol levels, and the amount of small, dense LDL present, compared with both obesity and insulin resistance. Low adiponectin levels may contribute to the atherogenic lipid profile in FCH, independent of insulin resistance and obesity, as measured by waist circumference. This finding implies a role of adipose tissue metabolism in the pathophysiology of FCH.

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