Decrease in Serum Adiponectin Level Due to Obesity and Visceral Fat Accumulation in Children


Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan. E-mail:


Objective: To determine whether serum adiponectin is decreased in obesity and is restored toward normal level after treatment in children.

Research Methods and Procedures: Subjects were 53 Japanese obese children, 33 boys and 20 girls (6 to 14 years old), and 30 age-matched nonobese controls for measuring adiponectin (16 boys and 14 girls). Blood was drawn after an overnight fast, and the obese children were subjected to anthropometric measurements including waist and hip circumferences and skinfold thicknesses. Paired samples were obtained from 21 obese children who underwent psychoeducational therapy. Visceral adipose tissue area was measured by computed tomography. Adiponectin was assayed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: The serum levels of alanine aminotransferase, uric acid, triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, apo B, apo B/apo A1, and insulin in obese children were higher than the reference values. Serum adiponectin level was lower in the obese children than in the controls (6.4 ± 0.6 vs. 10.2 ± 0.8 mg/L, means ± SEM, p < 0.001). In 21 obese children whose percent overweight declined during therapy, the adiponectin level increased (p = 0.002). The adiponectin level was correlated inversely with visceral adipose tissue area in obese children (r = −0.531, p < 0.001). The inverse correlations of adiponectin with alanine aminotransferase, uric acid, and insulin were significant after being adjusted for percentage overweight, percentage body fat, or sex.

Discussion: Serum adiponectin level is decreased in obese children depending on the accumulation of visceral fat and is restored toward normal level by slimming.