Context: Low adiponectin levels, by regulating insulin resistance and metabolic profile, may contribute to the markedly increased risk of atherosclerosis in diabetic subjects.
Objective: The complex interrelationships between adiponectin and metabolic abnormalities have not yet been fully assessed in diabetic women.
Design/setting/patients: We performed a cross-sectional evaluation of the association between circulating adiponectin and glycemia, lipid-lipoprotein levels, and inflammatory markers in 925 women with type 2 diabetes enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study.
Results: Circulating adiponectin levels were significantly and positively associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and physical activity levels, and inversely with body mass index and plasma concentrations of hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c), triglycerides, non-HDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein B-100, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, soluble E-selectin, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1. The above associations were not appreciably altered after adjusting for lifestyle factors, existing medical conditions, obesity, and body fat distribution, with the exception of HgbA1c and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (which became nonsignificant). Associations between adiponectin and inflammatory markers persisted after control for the potential confounding effects of HgbA1C and HDL cholesterol, suggesting that the antiinflammatory properties of adiponectin are not mediated by its effect on glycemia and lipidemia. With the exception of the associations with triglycerides and apolipoprotein B100, which were significant only in subjects with body mass index less than 30, all other associations observed herein were consistent among obese and nonobese diabetic women.
Conclusions: In summary, higher adiponectin levels are associated with better glycemic control, more favorable lipid profile, and reduced inflammation in diabetic women.