OBJECTIVE: In view of the increasing prevalence of obesity worldwide, understanding the role of the recently discovered adipokines leptin and adiponectin is of high clinical relevance. The aim of the present study was to assess the association between levels of leptin and adiponectin with age, known cardiovascular risk factors and to establish whether there are differences between men and women of the general population.
METHODS: A total of 98 men and 107 women of the general population, aged between 20 and 74 years, underwent a medical examination at a clinical research center and fasting morning blood samples were also taken.
RESULTS: Leptin (mean 7.5 μg l(-1) in men and 16.0 μg l(-1) in women) and adiponectin (mean 7.3 mg l(-1) in men and 11.9 mg l(-1) in women) levels were higher in women than men (Ps < 0.001). Both leptin and adiponectin levels increased with advancing age in both men and women (Ps < 0.05). Leptin was highly associated with factors for metabolic syndrome in men while in women, leptin was highly associated with inflammatory factors. Adiponectin was associated with blood lipids in both men and women, and glucose homeostasis more in women than in men.
CONCLUSIONS: Leptin and adiponectin levels were ∼2 times and 1.5 times higher in women than in men, respectively. In addition, although leptin and adiponectin were associated to CVD risk factors in both men and women, we observed differences in specific CVD risk factor groups between men and women. These differences may be due to different regulatory mechanisms and effects of these adipokines in men and women.
2012. Vol. 24, no 5, 595-601 p.