Background:This study evaluated the relation between adiponectin and atherosclerosis in both genders, and investigated whether adiponectin provides useful additional information for assessing the risk of atherosclerosis.Methods:We measured serum adiponectin levels and other cardiovascular risk factors in 1033 subjects (454 men, 579 women) from the Korean Genomic Rural Cohort study. Carotid intima-media-thickness (CIMT) was used as measure of atherosclerosis. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using multiple logistic regression, and receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC), the category-free net reclassification improvement (NRI) and integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) were calculated.Results:After adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors, such as age, waist circumference, smoking history, low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure and insulin resistance, the ORs (95%CI) of the third tertile adiponectin group were 0.42 (0.25-0.72) in men and 0.47 (0.29-0.75) in women. The area under the curve (AUC) on the ROC analysis increased significantly by 0.025 in men and 0.022 in women when adiponectin was added to the logistic model of conventional cardiovascular risk factors (AUC in men: 0.655 to 0.680, p = 0.038; AUC in women: 0.654 to 0.676, p = 0.041). The NRI was 0.32 (95%CI: 0.13-0.50, p<0.001), and the IDI was 0.03 (95%CI: 0.01-0.04, p<0.001) for men. For women, the category-free NRI was 0.18 (95%CI: 0.02-0.34, p = 0.031) and the IDI was 0.003 (95%CI: -0.002-0.008, p = 0.189).Conclusion:Adiponectin and atherosclerosis were significantly related in both genders, and these relationships were independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, adiponectin provided additional information to conventional cardiovascular risk factors regarding the risk of atherosclerosis.