Background: Adiponectin, an adipocyte-secreted hormone, has insulin-sensitizing characteristics. It remains unclear whether adiponectin may influence colorectal cancer development.
Methods: To determine whether prediagnostic levels of adiponectin were associated with risk of incident colorectal cancer in the Women's Health Study, we conducted a nested case-control study of 275 colorectal cancer cases and 275 matched controls. Each case was matched to a control by age, ethnicity, fasting status at the time of blood collection, time of day when blood was drawn, and month of blood draw. Multivariable logistic regression with adjustment for colorectal cancer risk factors was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for risk of colorectal cancer incidence and mortality by adiponectin quartiles based on the control distribution.
Results: Median plasma adiponectin level was similar in cases versus controls (6.00 vs. 6.24 μg/mL). In multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models, high plasma adiponectin levels were not significantly associated with risk of colorectal cancer [quartile 4 (Q4) vs. quartile 1 (Q1): OR (95 % CI) 0.86 (0.48-1.56), p trend = 0.63].
Conclusions: These results suggest no appreciable association between plasma adiponectin and risk of colorectal cancer in women. Confirmation of these observations in larger studies is needed.