Introduction: The association of murine asthma with adiposity may be mediated by adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory adipokine with reduced serum concentrations in the obese. We studied whether serum adiponectin concentration was associated with human asthma and explained the association between adiposity and asthma, particularly in women and in pre-menopausal women.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 2,890 eligible subjects at year 15 of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort and its YALTA ancillary study, and had either current asthma or never asthma at that evaluation, was performed. Obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed with dependent variable current asthma status.
Results: Women, but not men, with current asthma had lower mean unadjusted serum adiponectin concentration than those with never asthma (p < 0.001; p for sex interaction < 0.001). Similarly, current asthma was related to obese status only in women (OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.00, 5.46, p for sex interaction 0.004); this association was little affected by adjusting for serum adiponectin. Prevalence of current asthma in pre-menopausal women was reduced in the highest vs. lowest tertile of serum adiponectin concentration (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.26, 0.84, p 0.03), after adjusting for BMI. However, the interaction between serum adiponectin concentration and BMI category on current asthma status was not significant in pre-menopausal women or women overall.
Discussion: High serum adiponectin concentration may protect against current asthma in pre-menopausal women, but does not explain the association between asthma and adiposity.
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