Progressive renal vascular sclerosis is a key feature of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Adiponectin, an adipokine with potent anti-inflammatory and antiatherosclerotic properties, is associated with insulin resistance, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In this study, we evaluated the predictive value of adiponectin for the progression of CKD in patients enrolled in the Mild to Moderate Kidney Disease Study. The primary end point was defined as a doubling of the baseline serum creatinine and/or terminal renal failure in 177 patients who completed a prospective follow-up of 7 years. Patients who reached a progression endpoint (n=65) were significantly older, had higher baseline serum creatinine, proteinuria and adiponectin concentrations and more components of the metabolic syndrome. A gender-stratified Cox model revealed adiponectin in men as a significant predictor of progression after adjustment for age, glomerular filtration rate, and proteinuria. Male patients with adiponectin levels above their ROC analysis-derived optimal cutoff of 4 microg/ml had a significantly faster progression than patients below this point. This prospective long-term study in patients with CKD indicates high adiponectin as a novel independent predictor of disease progression in men but not in women. Our observation may be relevant for other conditions of progressive vascular sclerosis and diabetic nephropathy.