Circulating adiponectin is associated with both clinical and subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD). Variants of the adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ) are associated with clinical CVD, but little is known about associations with subclinical CVD. We studied the association of 11 ADIPOQ single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with common and internal carotid intima media thickness (cIMT), presence of coronary artery calcification (CAC), and CAC scores (in those with CAC) in 2,847 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Participants were white (n = 712), African American (n = 712), Chinese (n = 718), and Hispanic (n = 705). All models were adjusted for age, sex, and field site, and stratified by race/ethnic group. African Americans with genotypes AG/GG of rs2241767 had 36% greater (95% confidence interval (CI; 16%, 59%), P = 0.0001) CAC prevalence; they also had a larger common cIMT (P = 0.0043). Also in African Americans, genotypes AG/AA of rs1063537 were associated with a 35% (95% CI (14%, 59%), P = 0.0005) greater CAC prevalence. Hispanics with the AA genotype of rs11711353 had a 37% (95% CI (14%, 66%), P = 0.0011), greater CAC prevalence compared to those with the GG genotype. Additional adjustment for ancestry in African-American and Hispanic participants did not change the results. No single SNP was associated with subclinical CVD phenotypes in Chinese or white participants. There appears to be an association between ADIPOQ SNPs and subclinical CVD in African Americans and Hispanics. Replication as well as assessment of other ADIPOQ SNPs is warranted.