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Adiponectin is an adipokine with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiatherogenic, pro-angiogenic, vasoprotective and insulin-sensitizing properties. Several factors may influence adiponectin levels, such as genetic polymorphisms, obesity / body fat distribution, diet and exercise as well as cardiovascular risk factors such as sleep deprivation and smoking as well as medications. Adiponectin has been proposed as a potential prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target in patients with cardiometabolic diseases.This narrative review discusses the associations of adiponectin with obesity-related metabolic disorders (metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hyperuricaemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus). We also focus on the links between adiponectin and lipid disorders and with coronary heart disease and noncardiac vascular diseases (i.e. stroke, peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease, atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis, abdominal aortic aneurysms and chronic kidney disease). Further, the effects of lifestyle interventions and drug therapy on adiponectin levels are briefly reviewed.Based on available data, adiponectin represents a multifaceted biomarker that may beneficially affect atherosclerosis, inflammation and insulin resistance pathways. However, there are conflicting results with regard to the associations between adiponectin levels and the prevalence and outcomes of cardiometabolic diseases. Further research on the potential clinical implications of adiponectin in the diagnosis and treatment of such diseases is needed.