Adiponectin is a novel endogenous insulin sensitizer, secreted by mature adipocytes. Circulating levels of adiponectin are inversely associated with obesity and insulin resistance. Because obesity is a risk factor for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), we hypothesized that low adiponectin levels are associated with RCC. To evaluate this hypothesis, we conducted a case- control study of 70 patients with histologically confirmed RCC and 280 healthy controls matched by gender, age and county of residence. Study subjects were interviewed and blood samples were collected during a 32-month period in Athens, Greece. Serum adiponectin levels were statistically, significantly and inversely associated with RCC when compared with controls (OR = 0.76, p = 0.05) and this association remained practically unchanged after controlling for BMI; the introduction of waist to hip ratio along with adiponectin in the multiple logistic regression analysis model rendered the association between adiponectin and RCC risk insignificant, indicating that altered levels of adiponectin may mediate the effect of central or intra-abdominal obesity on RCC. Prospective studies as well as studies exploring underlying mechanisms are needed to fully explore the role of adiponectin in predicting future risk of RCC in humans. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.