Background and Objectives Molecular data suggests that adiponectin may directly regulate urinary albumin excretion. In the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) we measured adiponectin and albuminuria before and after intervention, and we previously reported increases in adiponectin with interventions. Here we have used the DPP dataset to test the hypothesis that treatment-related increases in adiponectin may reduce albuminuria in obesity. Design, Setting, Participants and Methods We evaluated cross-sectional correlations between plasma adiponectin and urinary albumin excretion at baseline, and the relationship of treatment-related changes in adiponectin and albuminuria. Baseline and follow-up urine albumin to creatinine ratios (ACR (albumin to creatinine ratio)) and plasma adiponectin concentration were available in 2553 subjects. Results Adjusting for age, sex and race/ethnicity, we observed a statistically significant but weak inverse relationship between adiponectin and ACR at baseline (conditional Spearman's rho = (-) 0.04, p = 0.04). Although DPP treatments significantly increased plasma adiponectin, there were no treatment effects on ACR and no differences in ACR across treatment groups. There was a weak direct (not inverse) association between change in adiponectin and change in albuminuria (adjusted Spearman's rho = (+) 0.04, p = 0.03). Conclusions In a large, well-characterized cohort of obese dysglycemic subjects we observed a weak inverse association between circulating adiponectin concentrations and urinary albumin excretion at baseline. Contrary to the hypothesized effect, treatment-related increases in plasma adiponectin were not associated with a reduction in ACR. The association of change in adiponectin with change in ACR should be assessed in populations with overt albuminuria before excluding a beneficial effect of increasing adiponectin to reduce ACR in obesity.
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