Peripheral adiponectin levels in anxiety, mood, trauma- and stressor-related disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Affect Disord. 2020 Jan 1:260:372-409. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.09.050. Epub 2019 Sep 11.


Background: Anxiety, mood, trauma- and stressor-related disorders confer increased risk for metabolic disease. Adiponectin, a cytokine released by adipose tissue is associated with these disorders and obesity via inflammatory processes. Available data describing associations with mental disorders remain limited and conflicted.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted for English, peer-reviewed articles from inception until February 2019 that assessed for serum or plasma adiponectin levels in adults with an anxiety, mood or trauma-related disorder. Diagnoses were determined by psychiatric interview, based on DSM-IV, DSM-5 or ICD-10 criteria. Analyses were performed using STATA 15 and Standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval was applied to pool the effect size of meta-analysis studies.

Results: In total 65 eligible studies were included in the systematic review and 30 studies in this meta-analysis. 19,178 participants (11,262 females and 7916 males), comprising healthy adults and adults with anxiety, mood and trauma-related disorders, were included. Overall results indicated an inverse association between adiponectin levels and examined mental disorders. Specifically, patients with an anxiety disorder (SMD = -1.18 µg/mL, 95% CI, -2.34; -0.01, p = 0.047); trauma or stressor-related disorder (SMD = -0.34 µg/mL, 95% CI, -0.52; -0.17, p = 0.0000) or bipolar disorder (SMD = -0.638 µg/mL, 95% CI, -1.16, -0.12, p = 0.017) had significant lower adiponectin levels compared to healthy adults.

Limitations: Heterogeneity, potential publication bias, and lack of control for important potential confounders were significant limitations.

Conclusion: Peripheral adiponectin levels appear to be inversely associated with anxiety, mood, trauma- and stressor related disorders and may be a promising biomarker for diagnosis and disease monitoring.

Keywords: Adiponectin; Anxiety; Depression; Mood disorders; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / blood*
  • Stress, Psychological / blood*
  • Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders / blood*


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin