Obesity is strongly associated with metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. Adiponectin is an adipose-derived plasma protein that is downregulated in subjects with obesity-related disorders. Low levels of adiponectin are associated with the increased prevalence of obesity-linked cardiovascular diseases, including ischemic heart disease and peripheral artery disease. Experimental findings have shown that adiponectin has beneficial effects in the cardiovascular system by directly acting on the component cells of the heart and blood vessels. Adiponectin protects cardiovascular tissues under conditions of stress through a number of mechanisms: inhibition of pro-inflammatory and hypertrophic responses, and stimulation of endothelial cell responses. These effects of adiponectin are mainly attributed to the modulation of signaling molecules, including AMP-activated protein kinase. Thus, adiponectin could be a promising therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases.