CONTEXT - Adiposity, bone mineral density (BMD), and calcified atherosclerotic plaque (CP) exhibit complex interrelationships that are not well understood. Adipokines vary in relation to changes in body composition and may play roles in regulation of BMD and risk of cardiovascular disease.
OBJECTIVE - Our objective was to examine the relationship between serum adiponectin and quantitative computed tomography-derived measures of volumetric BMD (vBMD) in thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, adipose tissue volumes, and CP in coronary, carotid, and infrarenal aortoiliac arteries. Generalized linear models were fitted to test for associations between adiponectin and measured phenotypes.
PARTICIPANTS - A total of 479 unrelated African Americans with type 2 diabetes, 57% female with a mean ± SD (median) age of 55.6 ± 9.5 (55.0) years and diabetes duration of 10.3 ± 8.2 (8.0) years.
RESULTS - Serum adiponectin was 8.26 ± 7.41 (6.10) μg/mL, coronary artery CP mass score was 280 ± 634 (14), carotid artery CP was 47 ± 133 (0), and aortoiliac CP was 1616 ± 2864 (319). Women had significantly higher body mass index and serum adiponectin and lower coronary and carotid artery calcium than males (all P < .05). Before and after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, mean arterial pressure, smoking status, hemoglobin A1c, thiazolidinedione use, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, adiponectin was inversely associated with thoracic and lumbar vertebral vBMD [parameter estimates (PEs) of -0.06 and -0.021, respectively; both P < .0005], visceral adipose tissue (PE -0.02; P < 0.0001), and C-reactive protein (PE -0.07; P < .0001) and positively associated with intermuscular adipose tissue (PE 0.01; P = .03). After covariate adjustment, significant associations were not observed between adiponectin and CP in any vascular bed (P > .1).
CONCLUSION - Serum adiponectin levels were inversely associated with cross-sectional measures of thoracic and lumbar vertebral vBMD, inflammation, and visceral adiposity in African Americans but not with vascular CP after adjustment for covariates. The data support a regulatory/signaling role for adiponectin in the modulation of bone density.