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29-11-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Elevated adiponectin decreases PAD risk in women


Free abstract

MedWire News: Women with elevated adiponectin levels may be at a decreased risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD), study findings indicate.

Aruna Pradhan (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and co-investigators found an inverse association between both total and high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin and the development of symptomatic PAD among initially healthy women.

"Our findings suggest that adiponectin may be biologically relevant to pathogenesis of this disease," they say.

Because low levels of adiponectin have previously been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, two risk factors for PAD, the researchers evaluated the association of baseline plasma levels of HMW, total, and the HMW-to-total adiponectin ratio with incident symptomatic PAD (defined as intermittent claudicating and peripheral artery revascularization) in middle-aged women.

In all, 110 participants of the Women's Health Study who developed confirmed PAD were included in the study and matched to 230 control participants by age, smoking, fasting status, and follow-up time.

As reported in Circulation, mean follow-up was 13.2 years. Median baseline levels of HMW and total adiponectin were significantly lower in women who developed PAD than in those who remained event free, at 3.3 versus 3.8 and 5.6 versus 7.4 µg/mL, respectively. The ratio of HMW to total adiponectin, however, was not significantly different between groups.

Increasing tertiles of both HMW and total adiponectin were inversely related to the risk for PAD, and women in the highest respective tertiles had a 59% and 63% reduced risk for future symptomatic PAD compared with those in the lowest tertiles. In contrast, the HMW-to-total adiponectin ratio was not associated with future PAD.

"Given the lack of a consistently demonstrated relationship between adiponectin and other cardiovascular end points, this striking result, if confirmed, suggest a unique relationship of adiponectin in PAD development that may reflect a more prominent role of adipokines in peripheral atherosclerosis," conclude Pradhan et al.

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By Nikki Withers