Ethnic Differences in the Relationship Between Adiponectin and Insulin Sensitivity in South Asian and Caucasian Women

  1. Marlene Martin, BA1,
  2. Latha P. Palaniappan, MD, MS2,
  3. Andrea C. Kwan, BA3,
  4. Gerald M. Reaven, MD4 and
  5. Peter D. Reaven, MD5
  1. 1Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
  2. 2Department of Health Care and Policy Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, California
  3. 3University of California, San Diego, California
  4. 4Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Falk CVRC, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  5. 5Department of Medicine, Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Gerald M. Reaven, MD, Stanford University, Falk CVRC, CV 287, Stanford, California 94305. E-mail: greaven{at}


OBJECTIVE—To assess whether lower adiponectin concentrations in South Asian Indians may be responsible for their greater degree of insulin resistance.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Insulin-mediated glucose uptake and plasma total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin concentrations were quantified in 52 women of South Asian (SA) and Caucasian (CAU) ancestry and compared.

RESULTS—Mean ± SD total (2,965 ± 1,278 vs. 4,235 ± 160 ng/ml) and HMW (1,001 ± 352 vs. 1,591 ± 854 ng/ml) adiponectin were lower in SAs than CAUs (P < 0.005). Insulin-resistant CAUs (CAU-IR) had lower total (2,665 ± 1,040 vs. 5,133 ± 1,086 ng/ml) and HMW (987 ± 479 vs. 1,935 ± 838 ng/ml) adiponectin than insulin-sensitive CAUs (CAU-IS) (P < 0.01), but there were no significant differences between insulin-resistant (SA-IR) and insulin-sensitive (SA-IS) SAs. HMW adiponectin did not differ between SA-IR and CAU-IR, but SA-IS had significantly lower adiponectin concentrations than CAU-IS.

CONCLUSIONS—Insulin resistance status is not associated with significantly lower levels of adiponectin in these SA women, in contrast to the CAU women.


  • Published ahead of print at on 17 January 2008. DOI: 10.2337/dc07-1781.

    The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted January 4, 2008.
    • Received September 10, 2007.
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