Health Services Research & Development

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Baker JF, Newman AB, Kanaya A, Leonard MB, Zemel B, Miljkovic I, Long J, Weber D, Harris TB. The Adiponectin Paradox in the Elderly: Associations With Body Composition, Physical Functioning, and Mortality. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2019 Jan 16; 74(2):247-253.
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Abstract: Background: To determine if adiponectin levels are associated with weight loss, low muscle mass, and physical functioning among the elderly and to determine independent associations with incident disability and death. Methods: Included were 3,044 participants from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study, who had whole-body dual energy absorptiometry performed to evaluate appendicular lean mass index (ALMI, kg/m2) and fat mass index (FMI, kg/m2), computed tomography measures of thigh muscle density, weight histories, estimates of physical functioning, and adiponectin levels at enrollment. Associations between adiponectin levels and body composition, weight loss, and physical functioning were assessed in multivariable linear regression models. Associations between adiponectin and incident disability and mortality were assessed in mediation analyses, adjusting for other factors. Results: Greater adiponectin at baseline was independently associated with low FMI Z-score, lower waist circumference, low ALMI Z-score, low muscle density, a history of weight loss, and poor physical functioning (all p < .05). Greater adiponectin levels (per SD) were associated with incident disability [HR: 1.14 (1.08, 1.20), p < .001] and greater mortality [HR: 1.17 (1.10, 1.25), p < .001] in models adjusting for demographic factors, adiposity, and comorbid conditions. The association was completely attenuated and no longer significant (all p > 0.05) when adjusting for body composition, muscle density, weight loss, and physical functioning at baseline. Conclusions: Greater serum adiponectin levels are associated with historical weight loss, low skeletal muscle mass, low muscle density, and poor physical functioning. High adiponectin is associated with a greater risk of incident disability and death, but not independently of these factors.