Plasma levels of adiponectin, a novel adipocyte-derived hormone, in sleep apnea

Robert Wolk, Anna Svatikova, Christy A. Nelson, Apoor S. Garni, Kogilan Govender, Mikolaj Winnicki, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with obesity, sympathetic activation, systemic inflammation, and cardiovascular morbidity. Obesity, β-adrenergic agonists, and inflammation are linked to decreased expression and/or secretion of an adipose tissue-derived antiatherogenic hormone, adiponectin. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether OSA affected plasma levels of adiponectin, which might help explain OSA-associated cardiovascular morbidity. Research Methods and Procedures: We randomly selected 68 otherwise healthy male subjects, either with moderate/ severe OSA [apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 20; n = 35] or without OSA (AHI ≤ 5; n = 33). The diagnosis of OSA was made based on prospective full polysomnography. Adiponectin was measured before polysomnography between 8 and 10 PM. Results: AHI was higher in the OSA group (49.5 ± 4.4 vs. 2.9 ± 0.4 events/h; p < 0.001). OSA subjects were also more obese, with greater BMI (33 ± 1 vs. 30 ± 1; p = 0.016) and percentage body fat (29 ± 1% vs. 26 ± 1%; p = 0.030). Adiponectin levels were 7.67 ± 0.73 and 6.33 ± 0.51 μg/mL in the OSA and non-OS A groups, respectively, and this difference was significant in covariate analysis (taking into account age, hemodynamic characteristics, measures of body fat, and OSA severity) (p = 0.009). After excluding from both groups the subjects with extreme BMI, such that the OSA and non-OSA study cohorts had similar BMI and percentage body fat, subjects with OSA had significantly higher plasma adiponectin (8.49 ± 0.92 vs. 6.32 ± 0.55 μg/mL; p = 0.042), differences also evident in covariate analysis (p = 0.017). Discussion: Plasma adiponectin levels are elevated in otherwise healthy subjects with OSA. Therefore, low adiponectin is unlikely to explain the association between OSA and cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-190
Number of pages5
JournalObesity research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Adiponectin
  • Sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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