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07/15/2009 - Articles

Adiponectin linked to lower Type 2 diabetes risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


A review shows that increased adiponectin secretion is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes

 Obesity is a known risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and the relationship between the two is quite complex. For adipose tissue - or 'fat' - is metabolically active and secretes a number of hormones and other factors that may influence diabetes risk.  One such is called adiponectin and a team at Harvard School of Public Health now reviews the evidence on this factor and Type 2 diabetes.

They found 13 studies, covering 14,598 participants of whom 2,623 developed diabetes.  The higher the level of adiponectin secreted by adipose tissue, the lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, they found. This relationship held constant across many ethnic groups and was also independent of method of diabetes assessment, adiponectin assay, or duration of the study.  But the review does not prove that the link between adiponectin and diabetes is a causal one. So it would be of no use, for example, to administer adiponectin as a drug.  Rather, it puts the spotlight on the role of adipose tissue in diabetes. It may be that, when we know more, adiponectin could be a  useful target in diabetes therapy.



Li S, Shin H et al Adiponectin levels and risk of Type 2 diabetes Journal of the American Medical Association July 8 2009;302:179-188

Created on: 07/12/2009
Reviewed on: 07/15/2009

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