Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 528–534 | Cite as

Serum adiponectin in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome and its relation to clinical, metabolic and endocrine parameters

  • L. Sieminska
  • B. Marek
  • B. Kos-Kudla
  • D. Niedziolka
  • D. Kajdaniuk
  • M. Nowak
  • J. Glogowska-Szelag
Original Article


Several studies have demonstrated that low levels of serum adiponectin are present in obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension and hyperlipidemias. The aim of our study was to determine whether serum adiponectin level is different between patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and control subjects. We also investigated relationships between various cardiovascular risk factors, levels of serum adiponectin and other hormones, such as androstendione, testosterone, estradiol, DHEAS, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and leptin. We also analysed the correlation between serum adiponectin and free androgen index. Ninety-one women with clinical diagnosed PCOS and 53 healthy control subjects, carefully matched by body mass index (BMI) and age, were enrolled in the study. The fasting blood samples were obtained and all participants underwent an oral 75 g glucose tolerance test. The prevalences of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), hypertension and hypertriglyceridemia were higher in the PCOS group. PCOS women had increased androgen concentrations and higher free androgen index and decreased level of serum SHBG. Lower serum adiponectin concentrations were observed among cases than in controls (median 13.7 μg/ml vs 17.8 μg/ml, p<0.001) despite being matched by BMI. In the PCOS group adiponectin levels correlated significantly with: BMI (r=−0.32, p=0.002), waist circumference (r=−0.32, p=0.003), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR, r=−0.38, p=0.001), triglycerides (r=−0.31, p=0.007), SHBG (r=0.30, p=0.003) and free androgen index (r=−0.29, p=0.02). In contrast, the adiponectin level does not appear to be related to total testosterone, DHEAS and leptin levels. The adiponectin and SHBG levels were found to be decreased in PCOS women with IGT compared to PCOS women with normal glucose tolerance, but after adjustment by BMI or WHR, the differences were no longer statistically significant. To exclude a possible confounding effect due to a higher prevalence of IGT in the PCOS group, this comparison was repeated for the subgroup of 58 PCOS women and 48 control women after excluding those with IGT. Neither adiponectin nor SHBG were significantly different between those subgroups. Multiple regression analysis revealed that serum adiponectin concentrations were best predicted by WHR, free androgen index and presence of IGT when all patients were considered. In PCOS subjects, the only independent predictor of adiponectin concentrations was glucose tolerance status. Conclusions: Lower adiponectin levels were observed in PCOS group than in control women, and these differences were probably due to higher prevalence of IGT in these cases.


Adiponectin polycystic ovarian syndrome 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Sieminska
    • 1
  • B. Marek
    • 1
  • B. Kos-Kudla
    • 1
  • D. Niedziolka
    • 1
  • D. Kajdaniuk
    • 1
  • M. Nowak
    • 1
  • J. Glogowska-Szelag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathophysiology and EndocrinologySilesian Medical UniversityZabrzePoland

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