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09-04-2012 | Immunology | Article

Adiponectin level linked to asthma in middle-aged women



MedWire News: Middle-aged women with low serum adiponectin levels are at increased risk for developing asthma, suggest study findings.

"Adiposity is known to be related to asthma. Although a causal link between adiponectin and asthma has been demonstrated in mice, the evidence in humans has been conflicting," said lead study author Akshay Sood (University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, USA) in a press release.

In an earlier cross-sectional study, the researchers had found an association between low serum adiponectin levels and prevalent asthma among women, but the direction of the association had not been confirmed.

Using data from years 10, 15, and 20 examinations of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort, the team assessed the association of CARDIA year 15 serum adiponectin concentrations with year 20 incident asthma among 1450 women, of whom 69.7% were premenopausal.

In addition, the researchers assessed the association of CARDIA year 10 prevalent asthma with year 15 serum adiponectin using logistic regression.

Women with incident asthma at CARDIA 20-year follow up had significantly lower mean serum adiponectin concentration at year 15 than did women without incident asthma (9.4 vs 11.2 mg/L).

Multivariate analysis showed that having a serum adiponectin concentration in the lowest tertile category (defined as less than 7 mg/L) was associated with a significant 2.07 and 2.80-fold higher risk for incident asthma among all women and premenopausal women, respectively.

Furthermore, the study revealed a significant interaction between current smoking and low serum adiponectin concentrations at year 15 on incident asthma among all women and among premenopausal women.

Body mass index (BMI) was not found to be predictive of incident asthma.

"Although serum adiponectin concentrations and BMI are inversely correlated with each other, we found that low values of the former may be more important than high values of the latter in predicting the risk for incident asthma among female current smokers," write the researchers in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

When the researchers assessed whether asthma affects subsequent serum adiponectin, they found that prevalent asthma status at year 10 was not predictive of low serum adiponectin concentrations at year 15.

"Our results show that low serum adiponectin levels in middle-aged women are associated with an elevated risk for developing asthma in the future," concluded Sood.

"This suggests that raising systemic adiponectin concentrations could potentially be useful as an asthma prevention measure in women, particularly those that smoke."

By Ingrid Grasmo

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