The aim of the current investigation was to investigate any potential effect of fasting plasma adiponectin concentration on bone tissue, and to find possible relationships of fasting plasma adiponectin level with different body composition, insulin sensitivity and physical performance parameters in a group of healthy perimenopausal women. Twenty-one premenopausal and 17 early postmenopausal women participated in this study. The women were matched for body mass index (BMI) and level of mean daily energy expenditure. Women had similar adiponectin (8.4 +/- 3.9 vs. 9.9 +/- 5.4 microg/ml) and leptin values (12.0 +/- 7.7 vs. 14.0 +/- 8.2 ng/ml) before and after menopause. Significant relationships were observed between plasma adiponectin and bone mineral content, total bone mineral density (BMD) and lumbar spine BMD values (r > - 0.36; p < 0.05). Furthermore, adiponectin had a significant negative association with total BMD (beta = - 1.228; p = 0.004) and lumbar spine BMD (beta = - 0.312; p = 0.005) independent of the influence that other measured body compositional, hormonal or physical performance factors may exert on BMD. Adiponectin was also significantly related to waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (beta = - 2.300; p = 0.002) and fasting insulin resistance index (FIRI) (beta = - 0.006; p = 0.007) in separate regression models. No relationship was observed between leptin and measured bone, physical performance and insulin resistance values. Leptin significantly correlated to BMI (beta = 0.018; p = 0.034), lean body mass (beta = 0.025; p = 0.024) and fat mass (beta = 0.019; p = 0.001) in separate regression models. In conclusion, the results of present study show that circulating adiponectin appears to exert an independent effect on BMD in perimenopausal women and may represent a link between adipose tissue and bone mineral density.