Race-ethnic differences in adipokine levels: the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Document Type



Family Medicine


Objective: Diffferences in adipose tissue secretory profile, as measured by adipokine levels, may play a role in race-ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD). We examined raceethnic differences in adipokine levels in a group of mid-life Caucasian, African American (AA), Chinese and Japanese women, after accounting for adiposity. Methods—Data on 1876 women from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation were analyzed. In multivariable adjustment, including total fat mass, differences in total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin, leptin and soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R) levels were examined. Results: Despite intermediate levels of adiposity, Caucasian women had higher levels of both total and HMW adiponectin, when compared to both AA and Chinese and Japanese women. After multivariable adjustment, compared to Caucasian women, AA women had significantly lower total (β: −3.40; 95%CI: −4.29, −2.52; p < 0.001) and HMW adiponectin (β: −0.53; 95%CI: −0.64, −0.43; pConclusions: Significant race-ethnic differences exist in circulating adipokines, even after accounting for adiposity. Further research is needed to explicitly determine if such differences contribute to known racial differences in CVD risk.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.