Adiponectin and hypertension in normal-weight and obese children

Paolo Brambilla, Laura Antolini, Maria E. Street, Marco Giussani, Sara Galbiati, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, Andrea Stella, Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti, Sergio Bernasconi, Simonetta Genovesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Adiponectin (AD) reduces the risk of hypertension because of its anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, and insulin-sensitizing properties. The study described here was done to evaluate the interrelationships of AD, blood pressure (BP), obesity, body-fat distribution, puberty, and insulin resistance in a selected group of children. Methods The study was a cross-sectional, observational study of 186 children ranging in age from 5-18 years and grouped according to weight class (obese (OB), n = 100; normal weight (NW), n = 86) and BP category (hypertensive (HT) n = 79; normotensive (NT); n = 107). The children were also classified on the basis of fat distribution (waist circumference/height ratio). Their blood glucose, insulin, and AD concentrations were assayed, and their homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) index was calculated as an estimate of insulin resistance. Results Serum AD was lower in OB-HT (7,111±4,163ng/ml) than in NW-NT (12,622±6,276ng/ml) children (P <0.0001). Intermediate values of AD were found in OB-NT (9,099±3,988ng/ml) and NW-HT (9,808±4,211ng/ml) children. Weight and waist circumference-to-height ratio, BP category, and pubertal stage were all independently and inversely associated with serum levels of AD (P <0.02). In a logistic regression model, after adjustment for body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference/height ratio, serum levels of AD maintained an independent association with hypertension (P <0.05), as did also the HOMA index (P <0.05). A reduction of 10 times (i.e., one unit on the log 10 scale) in AD serum levels was associated with a 50% increased probability of having hypertension. Conclusions In childhood, serum levels of AD are inversely related to hypertension. This relationship is partly independent of obesity, fat distribution, and insulin resistance. Low values of AD in both OB and NW children are associated with a higher probability of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • adiponectin
  • blood pressure
  • children
  • hypertension
  • insulin resistance
  • normal weight
  • obesity
  • waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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