Despite inverse associations with insulin resistance and adiposity, adiponectin has been associated with both increased and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. We examined whether adiponectin is associated with total and cardiovascular mortality in older adults with well-characterised body composition.
We analysed data from 3,075 well-functioning adults aged 69–79 years at baseline. Mortality data were obtained over 6.6 ± 1.6 years. We used Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for covariates in stages to examine the association between adiponectin and total and cardiovascular mortality.
There were 679 deaths, 36% of which were from cardiovascular disease. Unadjusted levels of adiponectin were not associated with total or cardiovascular mortality. However, after adjusting for sex and race, adiponectin was associated with an increased risk of both total mortality (hazard ratio 1.26, 95% CI 1.15–1.37, per SD) and cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio 1.35, 95% CI 1.17–1.56, per SD). Further adjustment for study site, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, prevalent heart disease, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, renal function, fasting insulin, triacylglycerol, BMI, visceral fat, thigh intermuscular fat and thigh muscle area did not attenuate this association. This association between adiponectin and increased mortality risk did not vary by sex, race, body composition, diabetes, prevalent cardiovascular disease, smoking or weight loss.
Higher levels of adiponectin were associated with increased risks of total and cardiovascular mortality in this study of older persons.