Context: Adiponectin, a recently discovered adipocyte-derived peptide, is involved in the regulation of insulin sensitivity and lipid oxidation and, purportedly, in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease in humans.
Objective: To assess prospectively whether plasma adiponectin concentrations are associated with risk of myocardial infarction (MI).
Design, setting, and participants: Nested case-control study among 18 225 male participants of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study aged 40 to 75 years who were free of diagnosed cardiovascular disease at the time of blood draw (1993-1995). During 6 years of follow-up through January 31, 2000, 266 men subsequently developed nonfatal MI or fatal coronary heart disease. Using risk set sampling, controls were selected in a 2:1 ratio matched for age, date of blood draw, and smoking status (n = 532).
Main outcome measure: Incidence of nonfatal MI and fatal coronary heart disease by adiponectin level.
Results: After adjustment for matched variables, participants in the highest compared with the lowest quintile of adiponectin levels had a significantly decreased risk of MI (relative risk [RR], 0.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.64; P for trend <.001). Additional adjustment for family history of MI, body mass index, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and history of diabetes and hypertension did not substantively affect this relationship (RR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.24-0.70; P for trend <.001). Further adjustment for hemoglobin A1c or C-reactive protein levels also had little impact, but additional adjustment for low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels modestly attenuated this association (RR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32-0.99; P for trend =.02).
Conclusions: High plasma adiponectin concentrations are associated with lower risk of MI in men. This relationship can be only partly explained by differences in blood lipids and is independent of inflammation and glycemic status.