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Adiponectin level link to asthma

Women with low serum adiponectin more likely to develop asthma

Louise Prime

Friday, 23 March 2012

Women with low serum levels of adiponectin, a hormone produced by adipose tissue, are more likely than others to develop asthma in the future – especially if they smoke, research has revealed. Authors of the study, published online first in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, said the association, which was independent of obesity, could lead to new means of asthma prevention.

The US researchers had already found in a cross-sectional study that women with asthma tended to have lower adiponectin levels, but did not know the direction of the association. To examine this further, they analysed long-term data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study on 1450 women’s adiponectin levels, smoking status and BMI; about two-thirds of the women were initially premenopausal.

Women in the lowest tertile of serum adiponectin concentrations at year 15 were at significantly higher risk than others of reporting incident asthma at year 20, especially if they smoked. But women’s BMI at year 15 did not predict incident asthma at year 20, and nor did change in BMI between years 15 and 20. In addition, having asthma at year 10 did not predict serum adiponectin concentration at year 15.

The authors acknowledged possible weaknesses in their study – self-reporting of asthma, and only including women whose adiponectin levels had been measured – but nevertheless concluded: “In this longitudinal cohort, we demonstrate that low serum adiponectin concentrations, independent of obesity, predict higher risk for incident asthma among middle-aged women, particularly among current smokers.”

They suggest: “Measures that raise systemic adiponectin concentrations may lead to newer ways to prevent asthma among women and particularly those who smoke.”

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