Population-based data on serum adiponectin levels, an adipocytokine secreted from adipose tissue, are lacking, particularly across race–ethnic groups. Studies have suggested an inverse association between adiponectin and vascular risk factors, but data are limited and inconsistent. We examined the cross-sectional association between adiponectin, vascular risk factors and race–ethnicity in the population-based Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS).
Blood samples, anthropomorphics, and vascular risk factors were collected at baseline. Multivariable linear regression analysis was conducted with log-transformed adiponectin as the dependent variable.
Adiponectin was measured among 2900 participants (age 69±10 years, body mass index (BMI) 28.0±5.6, 37% male, 21% white, 53% Hispanic, 24% black). The mean adiponectin was 11.4±6.2 μg/mL (median=9.8, range=2.1–53.3). After multivariable adjustment, adiponectin levels were greatest among whites, followed by Hispanics, and lowest among blacks. Lower adiponectin levels were observed in participants with the following characteristics: Male, former smoking, hypertension, diabetes, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), metabolic syndrome, moderate alcohol use, elevated waist circumference, BMI, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and younger age. Obesity was a stronger risk factor for decreased adiponectin among blacks than among whites or Hispanics. The associations for several vascular risk factors, including hypertension, triglycerides, and low HDL-C, with low adiponectin were stronger among individuals who were not obese than among those who were obese.
Adiponectin levels were lower among blacks and Hispanics and among those with various vascular risk factors, and greater with older age. The association between BMI and adiponectin varied across race–ethnic groups. Investigation of whether differences in body fat distribution may explain race–ethnic differences in adiponectin is needed.