Purpose: Low birth weight has been associated with metabolic and vascular diseases, but the precise mechanism is debated. Adiponectin is one of the key molecules in metabolic disease, and a decrease in level precedes the onset of type 2 diabetes and development of atherosclerosis. Our aim is to examine whether low birth weight is associated with adiponectin concentration in adult. Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of 2277 subjects (1661 men and 616 women) aged 35 to 66 years who had their self-reported birth weights and adiponectin concentrations measured as adults. Results: After adjusting for potential confounders, including age, sex, current body mass index (BMI), smoking status, alcohol consumption, and exercise, geometric mean adiponectin levels were 6.63, 6.45, 6.86, 7.05, 6.75, and 7.22 μg/mL for subjects with birth weights less than 2500, 2500 to less than 2800, 2800 to less than 3000, 3000 to less than 3200, 3200 to less than 3500, and greater than 3500 g, respectively. A positive association was found between birth weight and adiponectin concentration (trend p = 0.002). Stratified by current BMI of 25 kg/m2, a positive association was not observed for subjects with a BMI less than 25 kg/m2, but was pronounced in those with a BMI of 25 kg/m2 or greater. Conclusion: This study indicates that low birth weight contributes to decreased adiponectin concentrations in adult life independently of current BMI, especially for obese subjects.
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