Background: Obesity is one of the well-known risk factors of vascular disorders; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the association between the two remain undetermined. Previous studies have demonstrated that the plasma levels of adiponectin, an adipose-derived hormone, are reduced in obese subjects, and that this hypoadiponectinemia is associated with ischemic heart disease. In this study, we sought to identify the primary determinants of plasma adiponectin levels in healthy premenopausal women. Methods and results: We analyzed the plasma adiponectin concentrations in age-matched healthy obese premenopausal women [n=37, body mass index (BMI)≥25 kg/m2] and in healthy nonobese premenopausal women (n=23, BMI<25 kg/m2). Visceral and subcutaneous fat (VCF and SCF) areas were determined by abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan. Plasma levels of adiponectin in obese subjects were lower than in nonobese subjects (3.24±1.08 vs. 4.90±2.06 ug/ml, P<0.01). Significant, univariate inverse correlations were observed between adiponectin levels and visceral fat areas (r=-0.643, p<0.001), subcutaneous fat areas (r=-0.407, p<0.01), and hsCRP (r=-0.36, p=0.007). Plasma levels of adiponectin correlated positively with insulin sensitivity [quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI): r=0.38, p=0.005] and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (r=0.44, p=0.001), and negatively with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (r=-0.29, p=0.028), triglyceride (r=-0.33, p=0.013), and BMI (r=-0.48, p<0.001). By multivariate analysis, only visceral fat areas affected adiponectin plasma levels (β=-0.016, p<0.05, R2=0.504). Plasma levels of HDL cholesterol remained significantly correlated to plasma adiponectin concentrations in multivariate analysis (β=0.067, p<0.05). Conclusions: These results collectively indicate that plasma HDL cholesterol levels and visceral fat masses are independently associated with plasma adiponectin concentrations.
- Insulin resistance