Serum adiponectin concentrations predict the developments of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome in elderly Koreans


Sei Hyun Baik, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, 80 Guro-Dong, Guro-Gu, Seoul 152-050, South Korea. Tel.: 822 818 6645; Fax: 822 859 5604; E-mail:,


objective  To determine whether low serum adiponectin concentrations are able to predict the future developments of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome using the National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) criteria. We also investigated the stability of adiponectin levels and the relationships between baseline adiponectin levels and changes in the parameters related to the metabolic syndrome over a period of 3 years.

patients and measurements  This prospective cohort study included 372 elderly Koreans who participate in the SWS (South-West Seoul) study, which was conducted in 1999 and 2002 in Seoul, Korea. Fasting and postchallenge 2-h plasma glucose, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), blood pressure, lipid profiles and serum adiponectin data obtained in 1999 and 2002 were examined.

results  The within-person variation between 1999 and 2002 of serum adiponectin was not significant (P = 0·61). Serum adiponectin was closely correlated with the risks factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD), that is negatively with BMI, WHR, blood pressure, triglyceride and blood glucose levels, and positively with high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels. Subjects with the metabolic syndrome showed lower serum adiponectin concentrations than those without the metabolic syndrome (P < 0·0001). Baseline adiponectin levels were found to be correlated with subsequent changes in WHR, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, fasting and postload 2-h glucose over the 3-year period, after adjusting for baseline values. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that lower baseline serum adiponectin concentrations were significantly associated with the developments of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome after adjusting for age, sex, obesity, history of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), hypertension and dyslipidaemia.

conclusions  Reduced concentrations of adiponectin were found to be independently associated with increased risk of both type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome in elderly Koreans.