Objectives: The adipokines leptin and adiponectin are associated with change in body composition and are highly correlated, raising questions about whether they exert independent effects. We investigated whether these two adipokines are independently associated with regional body fat accumulation in a prospective study of Japanese Americans.

Methods: Nondiabetic participants between the ages of 34 to 74 years were followed for 5 years to assess change in body composition. Leptin and adiponectin concentrations and single slice CT-measurements of intra-abdominal fat (IAF), abdominal (SCF) and thigh (TF) subcutaneous fat cross-sectional areas were evaluated at baseline and 5 year follow-up study visits. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to estimate the association between leptin and adiponectin and future 5-year accumulation of IAF.

Results: 96 men and 95 women without diabetes included in this analysis had the following baseline mean (SD) values: age 45.7 (3.5) years and 46.4 (3.9) years; BMI 25.5 (3.1) kg/m2 and 24.0 (3.9) kg/m2; IAF 78.7 (38.6) cm2 and 62.1 (39.0) cm2; leptin concentration 4.5 (2.3) μg/L and 10.2 (5.2) μg/L; and adiponectin concentration 7.4 (3.2) μg/mL and 10.8 (4.7) μg/mL, respectively. Baseline leptin (β = 1.7722, p=0.014) and adiponectin concentrations (β = -0.4162, p<0.001) were significantly associated with ΔIAF over 5 years in multivariable models adjusting for age, sex, diabetes family history, weight change over 5 years, and baseline measurements of BMI, IAF, abdominal SCF, abdominal circumference, TF, and HOMA-IR.

Conclusions: In nondiabetic Japanese Americans, baseline concentrations of leptin and adiponectin were independent predictors of IAF accumulation at 5 years. Higher levels of leptin and adiponectin were associated with greater and lesser accumulation of IAF, respectively. These relationships were independent of age, sex, insulin sensitivity, and body composition.


S. Song: None. S.E. Kahn: Advisory Panel; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk A/S. Consultant; Self; Neurimmune. Other Relationship; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk A/S. D.L. Leonetti: None. W.Y. Fujimoto: None. E.J. Boyko: None.


National Institutes of Health DK31170, HL49293); University of Washington (DK017047, DK035816, RR-000037); VA Puget Sound Health Care System (to E.J.B., S.E.K.)

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