Relationships between circulating adiponectin levels and fat distribution in obese subjects

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2011;18(7):592-5. doi: 10.5551/jat.7625. Epub 2011 Mar 3.


Aim: Most studies have reported that circulating levels of adiponectin are negatively correlated with the body mass index (BMI), and hypoadiponectinemia is related to cardiometabolic disorders; however, not all obese subjects have hypoadiponectinemia. The present study investigated circulating adiponectin levels and fat distribution, i.e. subcutaneous fat area (SFA) and visceral fat area (VFA), in obese subjects.

Methods: Sixty-eight obese Korean subjects underwent fat distribution by computed tomography (CT) scan and laboratory tests including circulating total adiponectin levels (APN) and circulating high molecular weight adiponectin levels (HMW-APN).

Results: Log-APN and log-HMW-APN did not correlate with log-BMI either in obese males or females in this study; however, log-APN significantly and negatively correlated with log-VFA both in obese males (r=-0.691, p=0.009) and females (r=-0.319, p=0.002), and log-HMW-APN also correlated negatively with log-VFA both in obese males (r=-0.650, p=0.016) and females (r=-0.370, p=0.005). Log-VFA was a significant determinant of log-APN and log-HMW-APN in obese subjects. In contrast, neither log-APN nor log-HMW-APN was significantly correlated with log-SFA in obese males and females.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that APN and HMW-APN correlated with VFA, but not BMI and SFA, in obese subjects, and suggest that hypoadiponectinemia may represent dysfunction of adipose tissue in obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Adiponectin