We sought to assess the association between serum concentrations of adiponectin and long-term risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and coronary heart disease (CHD) in initially healthy middle-aged men within the same representative population in Augsburg, southern Germany.
It has been postulated that high serum concentrations of adiponectin, an emerging biomarker that is linked to insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction, may be protective against T2DM and CHD.
Serum concentrations of adiponectin were determined in apparently healthy middle-aged men, sampled from the general population in 1984/1985 and followed until 2002. During this period, 115 of 887 men had a newly diagnosed T2DM, and 126 of 937 men suffered from a CHD event.
In a Cox model, after multivariable adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, the hazard ratio of incident T2DM, comparing extreme tertiles of the adiponectin distribution, was 0.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.89), and for incident CHD it was 0.62 (95% CI, 0.39 to 0.98). Further adjustment for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) attenuated the association, which became formally non-significant. In joint analysis, men with low adiponectin and low HDL-C values showed a 2.63 times (95% CI, 1.66 to 4.15) increased incidence of T2DM and a 1.91 times (95% CI, 1.20 to 3.04) increased incidence of CHD after multivariable adjustment in comparison with men with high HDL-C and high adiponectin.
For patients with low HDL-C values, additional measurement of adiponectin may be helpful to identify individuals at very high risk for T2DM and CHD.