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Objective: To examine the combined effect of CT-measured visceral fat area (VFA) and adiponectin level against the clustering of metabolic risk factors.

Design and Methods: The subjects were 6,996 Japanese. The subjects were divided according to the combinations of VFA and adiponectin level quartiles and the odds ratio for multiple risk factors of metabolic syndrome were calculated (adjusted for age and lifestyle factors using logistic regression analyses). Group with the lowest VFA and the highest adiponectin level was used as a reference. The correlation between adiponectin level and each metabolic risk factor was evaluated.

Results: The strongest correlation was observed between adiponectin level and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (r = 0.369 and 0.439 for men and women). Both VFA and adiponectin level were independently associated with the clustering of metabolic risk factors (interaction P = 0.58 and 0.11 for men and women). The odds ratio for the clustering of metabolic risk factors in the group with the highest VFA and the lowest adiponectin level, compared with the group with the lowest VFA and the highest adiponectin level, was 12.7 (9.7-16.6) for men and 13.5 (6.0-30.2) for women.

Conclusion: The ability to detect metabolic syndrome could be improved by examining adiponectin level in conjunction with VFA.