Serum adiponectin in young adults - Interactions with central adiposity, circulating levels of glucose, and insulin resistance: The CARDIA study

Michael W Steffes, Myron D Gross, Pamela J Schreiner, Xinhua Yu, Joan E. Hilner, Ronald Gingerich, David R Jacobs Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Purpose To study adiponectin, a circulating adipocytokine secreted by adipocytes inversely associated with diabetes and insulin resistance, and factors affecting its levels in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Methods Adiponectin in serum was measured by radioimmunoassay in 3355 participants (ages: 23-45 years) categorized by fasting glucose levels as normal, impaired fasting glucose, or diabetes mellitus. Results Levels of adiponectin were higher in women, in white participants, and with age. Waist circumference, estimating visceral fat, strongly and inversely correlated with levels of adiponectin, more than body mass index. Adiponectin values adjusted for gender and race were lower with higher fasting glucose values in the normal range and still lower with impaired fasting glucose and untreated diabetes mellitus, even further adjusting for waist circumference and fasting insulin levels (p < 0.0001). Gender- and race-adjusted adiponectin levels were inversely associated with insulin resistance at year 15 and with insulin resistance measured 15 years previously and with its change from baseline to year 15 (p < 0.0001). Conclusions These data suggest complex and significant physiologic interactions among circulating levels of adiponectin and measures of insulin action throughout young adulthood, even from several years earlier. Central obesity, as measured with waist circumference, is a primary factor affecting levels of circulating adiponectin. Furthermore, levels of glucose and levels of adiponectin may directly influence one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-498
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts N01-HC-48047, N01-HC-48048, N01-HC-48049, N01-HC-48050, and N01-HC-95095 (CARDIA), and R01-HL053560-08 (YALTA).

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adiponectin
  • BMI
  • Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Glucose
  • HOMA
  • HOmeostasis Model Assessment
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Obesity
  • PPAR
  • SBP
  • Visceral Fat
  • body mass index
  • peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


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