Circulating adiponectin is involved in the atherosclerotic process and has been associated with cardiovascular disease as well as obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. The adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ) encodes the circulating protein adiponectin and affects its expression. Only a small proportion of all known ADIPOQ polymorphisms have been investigated in relation to circulating adiponectin concentrations. Using data from 3,355 African-American and white men and women aged 33-45 at the year 15 examination from the Coronary Artery Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study the association between 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within ADIPOQ and serum adiponectin was examined using linear regression. SNPs were chosen based on a tagSNP approach. Models were stratified by self-reported race to control for population stratification, and Bonferroni corrected for multiple comparisons. ADIPOQ SNPs rs17300539 (P <0.0001), rs182052 (P = 0.0013), rs822393 (P = 0.0005), rs9882205 (P = 0.0001), and rs3774261 (P = 0.0001) were strongly associated with serum adiponectin concentrations in whites. In general, there was a dose-response relationship of adjusted mean adiponectin concentrations across genotypes. Only one SNP, rs17300539 was marginally associated with serum adiponectin concentrations (P = 0.0087) in African Americans. Significant interactions were found between waist and rs182052 (P = 0.0029) and between rs9882505 and smoking (P = 0.001) in whites. Many ADIPOQ SNPs have not yet been examined, and additional studies are needed to determine whether these may be functional variants.