Adiponectin plays a significant role in the modulation of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. We attempted to evaluate the relationship between adiponectin level and parameters of the menopausal metabolic syndrome: body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, lipid profile and insulin resistance indices.
Thirty-two women and ten men aged 40-63 years were included. The percentage of body fat and of abdominal fat deposits were measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Serum adiponectin, tumour necrosis factor-a (TNFalpha) and leptin were measured with commercially available radioimmunoassay kits. To exclude the influence of nutritional factors on adiponectin secretion, diet content was analysed in the preceding three days.
Postmenopausal non-obese women had a non-significantly lower level of adiponectin compared with premenopausal women of corresponding body mass. Serum adiponectin level was significantly lower in postmenopausal obese women than in non-obese women (p = 0.0023). Men with similar age and body mass to the women had the lowest level of adiponectin (p = 0.06). Three months of estrogen replacement therapy in women with surgical menopause did not significantly change the serum level of adiponectin. We found a negative correlation of adiponectin with leptin, insulin resistance index and total cholesterol, and a positive correlation with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Adiponectin level was negatively correlated with free testosterone, but we did not find such a relationship with estradiol. There was no correlation of adiponectin level with TNFalpha; however, serum TNFalpha correlated positively with leptin. The dietary analysis showed no differences between the diets of obese and non-obese women over the preceding three days. Moreover, mean diastolic and systolic blood pressures were noted to be significantly lower in premenopausal women than in postmenopausal non-obese women (p = 0.05).
Our results suggest that adiponectin could be a marker of risk for developing menopausal metabolic syndrome. Moreover, it is possible that sex steroids have an influence on adiponectin secretion.