Adiponectin Is Lower Among African Americans and Is Independently Related to Insulin Sensitivity in Children and Adolescents

  1. Nikki C. Bush12,
  2. Betty E. Darnell2,
  3. Robert A. Oster2,
  4. Michael I. Goran3 and
  5. Barbara A. Gower1
  1. 1Department of Nutrition Sciences and Clinical Nutrition Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
  2. 2General Clinical Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
  3. 3Departments of Preventive Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Barbara A. Gower, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 429 Webb Building, 1675 University Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35294-3360. E-mail: bgower{at}


Adiponectin is inversely related to adiposity and positively correlated with insulin sensitivity (Si). Sparse data exist on the contributions of ethnicity and body fat distribution to variance in serum adiponectin. Hypotheses tested were that adiponectin would be lower in African Americans compared with Caucasians; that adiponectin would be inversely related to central, not peripheral, fat; that adiponectin would be positively associated with Si; and that baseline adiponectin would predict change in Si over 2 years in 150 African-American and Caucasian youth. Multiple linear regression modeling showed that adiponectin was lower in African-American versus Caucasian children (adjusted means 10.8 ± 0.5 vs. 12.3 ± 0.5 μg/ml, respectively; P < 0.05); inversely related to trunk fat (P < 0.05); and positively related to limb fat (P < 0.01). Addition of the acute insulin response to glucose to the model eliminated the significance of ethnicity. Si, which was positively related to adiponectin (P < 0.05), was lower in African Americans (P < 0.001) and girls (P < 0.05). Baseline adiponectin did not predict change in Si over 2 years. In conclusion, adiponectin was positively correlated with Si, inversely related to central fat, and positively related to peripheral fat. In addition, higher acute insulin response to glucose explained lower adiponectin among African-American children.


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    • Accepted June 7, 2005.
    • Received November 16, 2004.
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