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OBJECTIVE: Plasma adiponectin is negatively correlated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) components obesity and insulin sensitivity. Here, we set out to evaluate the effect of menopause on the association of plasma adiponectin with MetS. DESIGN: Data on plasma adiponectin and MetS were available from 2256 individuals participating in the Erasmus Rucphen Family study. Odds ratios for MetS were calculated by logistic regression analysis using plasma adiponectin quartiles. The discriminative accuracy of plasma adiponectin for MetS was determined by calculating the area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operator. Analyses were performed in women and men, pre- and postmenopausal women and younger and older men. RESULTS: Virtually all determinants of MetS differed significantly between groups. Low plasma adiponectin showed the highest risk for MetS in postmenopausal women (odds ratio = 18.6, 95% CI = 7.9-44.0). We observed a high discriminative accuracy of age and plasma adiponectin for MetS not only in postmenopausal women (AUC = 0.76) but also in other subgroups (AUC from 0.67 to 0.87). However, in all groups, the discriminative accuracy of age and body mass index (BMI) for MetS was similar to the discriminative accuracy of age and plasma adiponectin. CONCLUSIONS: Low plasma levels of adiponectin are associated with increased prevalence of MetS, especially in postmenopausal women. Age and BMI have similar discriminatory accuracies for presence of MetS when compared with age and plasma adiponectin. Thus, we conclude that the association of plasma adiponectin with MetS is significantly affected by menopause but challenge the additional value of adiponectin for the discriminatory accuracy for presence of MetS.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of internal medicine

Publication Date





402 - 409


Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.


Humans, Metabolic Syndrome X, Biological Markers, Body Mass Index, Risk Factors, Age Factors, Sex Factors, Menopause, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Adiponectin