Background: Epidemiological studies suggest that increased levels of leptin and resistin, and decreased levels of adiponectin are associated with worsening insulin resistance (IR) and atherosclerosis. However, it is unclear if these findings apply to Mexican-Americans, as few have been studied. We examined the relationship of these adipokines and carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) to IR and atherosclerosis in a Mexican-American population.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC) was performed. Adult participants were stratified into three groups of IR: no-diabetes, prediabetes, and diabetes mellitus (DM). We examined differences in levels of adipokines and cIMT across groups. We constructed multivariable linear and logistic regression models to account for confounding factors. There were 819 subjects (43%, 35%, and 22% for no-diabetes, prediabetes, and DM, respectively) for the study of adipokines and 249 subjects for the study of cIMT (34%, 50%, and 16% for no-diabetes, prediabetes, and DM, respectively).

Results: After controlling for gender, hypertension, age, and BMI, adiponectin levels lowered significantly across increasing levels of IR (p=0.002) and resistin levels did not change significantly across groups (p=0.10). Compared to no-diabetes, leptin levels surprisingly decreased significantly in DM (p=0.013). cIMT levels heightened across increasing levels of IR (p=0.01).

Conclusion: In a Mexican-American population, participants with DM unexpectedly displayed lower levels of leptin compared to no diabetes. Surprisingly, there was also no change in resistin across IR groups. In DM, adiponectin levels decreased and cIMT measurements increased. These findings support the need for more research to understand the relationship of leptin deficiency to DM in this population.


A.D. Gutierrez: Speaker's Bureau; Self; AstraZeneca, Med Learning Group. C.A. Flores: None. M. Lee: None. S. Laing: None. P. Asgarisabet: None. M. Resman: None. S. Naik: None. M. Lee: None. J.B. McCormick: None. S.P. Fisher-Hoch: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at