Adiponectin Predicts High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Efflux Capacity in Adults Irrespective of Body Mass Index and Fat Distribution

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Obesity is associated with hypoadiponectemia, dyslipidemia, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Mechanisms linking these conditions remain to be fully understood. Cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) is a crucial functional property of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that strongly predicts CVD incidence.


We investigated whether age, fat distribution, and other obesity-related factors affect CEC in juvenile and adult overweight/obese participants of the STYJOBS/EDECTA cohort (NCT00482924).


We performed an observational study.

Main Outcome Measures:

CEC and its association with body measures and related metabolic parameters was assessed in 683 participants (281 juveniles, of whom 227 were overweight/obese; 402 adults, of whom 197 were overweight/obese).


Pearson correlation analysis showed that, after Bonferroni correction, CEC was significantly inversely correlated with body mass index (BMI), carotid diameter, waist circumference, waist-to-hip, waist-to-height ratio, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and uric acid and with the liver markers alanine-aminotransferase and choline esterase. CEC was positively correlated with HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein A1, and adiponectin in adults, whereas in juveniles only apolipoprotein A1 showed a significant positive correlation with CEC. Age-stratified linear regression analyses with CEC as the outcome variable identified adiponectin as the most significant predictor of CEC in adults. The results did not change when either BMI or waist-to-hip ratio as a factor of fat distribution was included in the models.


Hypoadiponectemia is a robust predictor of reduced cholesterol efflux capacity in adults irrespective of BMI and fat distribution. Further investigations are needed to assess whether adiponectin is a causal determinant of CEC.

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