Sex-Related Differences Between Adiponectin and Insulin Resistance in Schoolchildren

  1. Pei-Ling Tsou, MD1,
  2. Yi-Der Jiang, MD2,
  3. Ching-Chung Chang, MD, PHD2,
  4. Jung-Nan Wei, PHD3,
  5. Fung-Chang Sung, PHD3,
  6. Chau-Ching Lin, MD4,
  7. Chuan-Chi Chiang, PHD5,
  8. Tong-Yuan Tai, MD, PHD2 and
  9. Lee-Ming Chuang, MD, PHD235
  1. 1Department of Clinical Pathology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  3. 3Graduate Institute of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  4. 4Chinese Foundation of Health, Taipei, Taiwan
  5. 5Graduate Institute Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lee-Ming Chuang, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Rd., Taipei, Taiwan 100. E-mail: leeming{at}


OBJECTIVE—To study the effect of body composition and adiponectin on insulin resistance and β-cell function in schoolchildren during puberty.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Plasma adiponectin level and its relationships with insulin sensitivity and β-cell function were analyzed in 500 randomly recruited nondiabetic Taiwanese schoolchildren (245 boys and 255 girls) aged 6–18 years in a national survey program for diabetes in 1999. Insulin resistance and β-cell function were evaluated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA). Plasma adiponectin concentrations were determined with radioimmunoassay.

RESULTS—Plasma glucose levels remained stable, whereas insulin resistance increased with a compensatory rise in β-cell function during this period. A transient drop of adiponectin level with a trough at 10–12 years was found in boys but not in girls. This pubertal drop of adiponectin levels in boys coincides with the sharp rise in testosterone concentration. A negative correlation between testosterone levels and adiponectin concentration was also noted in boys (r = −0.142, P = 0.032). Plasma adiponectin levels correlated inversely with relative body weight, fasting insulin concentrations, and insulin resistance index by HOMA in boys aged 15–18 years and in girls aged 11–14 years. No association was observed between adiponectin levels and β-cell function by HOMA.

CONCLUSIONS—There is a transient drop in the level of adiponectin during male puberty, correlated with the increase in testosterone level in boys. Plasma adiponectin levels were inversely correlated with obesity and insulin resistance in boys and girls during the pubertal period.


  • P.-L.T. and Y.-D.J. contributed equally to this work.

    J.-N.W. is currently affiliated with Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan.

    A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

    • Accepted October 27, 2003.
    • Received June 23, 2003.
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