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Adiponectin Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Disease

Factor secreted by adipocytes has been linked to both beneficial and harmful properties

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with an increased risk of new coronary heart disease in older adults, according to research published online July 1 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Jorge R. Kizer, M.D., of Cornell University in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from a case-control study of subjects aged 65 and older who were free of cardiovascular disease at a 1992-1993 examination. Cases included 604 men and women who experienced a coronary heart disease event through June 2001, matched with 782 controls. The main outcome measure was incident coronary heart disease: angina pectoris, percutaneous or surgical revascularization, non-fatal myocardial infarction or coronary heart disease death.

Adiponectin concentrations in the upper quintile were associated with a higher risk of incident coronary heart disease (odds ratio, 1.37), with a stronger association for non-fatal myocardial infarction or fatal coronary heart disease (odds ratio, 1.69), the researchers report. Previous research has found that adiponectin has anti-atherosclerotic and cardioprotective effects, but epidemiological studies regarding adiponectin and heart disease have shown conflicting results, the authors write.

"In conclusion, this study shows that, despite documented preclinical cardiometabolic benefits and favorable cross-sectional clinical associations, elevated concentrations of circulating adiponectin are associated with a significantly increased risk of incident coronary heart disease in older adults. These findings suggest that adiponectin harbors both salutary and harmful properties, understanding of which could be advanced by additional attention to the adipokine's complex multimer distribution and, in the elderly, the potential role of altered body composition," the authors write.

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