Objective: Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived collagen-like protein, highly specific to adipose tissue and may represent an important link between obesity and atherosclerosis. The present study was designed to investigate a possible association between serum adiponectin levels and early vascular changes in obese patients as determined by intima media thickness (IMT) and arterial pulse-wave contour analysis.
Design: Obese subjects (n=47) were evaluated for arterial structure and function, metabolic parameters and serum adiponectin levels.
Measurements: IMT was measured by ultrasound. Arterial elasticity was evaluated using pulse wave contour analysis. Insulin resistance was assessed by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR).
Results: Adiponectin was significantly, inversely associated with mean IMT (r=−0.369, P=0.011) and significantly positively associated with large artery elasticity index (LAEI) (r=0.467, P=0.001) as well as small artery elasticity index (SAEI) (r=0.462, P=0.001). In separate multivariate models, adiponectin remained significantly associated with mean IMT, LAEI, SAEI even after adjustment for cardiovascular confounders. Among metabolic parameters, adiponectin was significantly, positively associated with HDL cholesterol and inversely associated with triglycerides. Adiponectin was significantly, inversely associated with fasting insulin and HOMA-IR. Additionally, a marginally inverse association between adiponectin and ALT was observed.
Conclusions: In the present study, serum adiponectin levels were significantly associated with indices of subclinical atherosclerosis such as IMT and arterial compliance in obese patients. This association was independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
25 - 29 Apr 2009
European Society of Endocrinology