Ethnic Variations in Adiponectin Levels and Its Association with Age, Gender, Body Composition and Diet: Differences Between Iranians, Indians and Europeans Living in Australia

  • Majid Meshkini
  • Fariba Alaei-Shahmiri
  • Cyril Mamotte
  • Jaya Dantas
Original Paper


Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived protein with anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory action, but there are few studies on its association with cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in different ethnic groups in Australia. This cross-sectional study evaluated ethnic differences in adiponectin levels and its association with age, gender, body composition and diet in 89 adult Australians of European (n = 28), Indian (n = 28) and Iranian (n = 33) ancestries. Different measures of adiposity were assessed using the method of whole body dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Total adiponectin levels determined in Indians and Iranians were significantly lower than those in Europeans (p values < 0.001). There was no significant difference between the adiponectin levels in Indians and Iranians (p value > 0.05). There was no substantial change in the results after adjustment for potential confounders. Circulating levels of adiponectin was associated with age, truncal fat percentage, dietary glycemic index, glycemic load and carbohydrate intake, by correlation analysis (p values < 0.05). Using multiple linear regression analysis, a model including truncal fat percentage (p < 0.001), ethnicity (p = 0.001), age (p = 0.001) and dietary glycemic index (p = 0.04) could predict 50% of the variance in adiponectin levels (R2 = 0.504). Among different variables assessed, truncal fat percentage (in Indian and Iranian groups) and glycemic index (in European group) were the strongest predictors of serum adiponectin when data were analysed for three ethnic groups, separately. In conclusion, individuals with Iranian or Indian ancestries may have lower adiponectin levels compared to Europeans. Ethnicity was found as an independent factor affecting adiponectin levels. Our results also highlighted age, truncal adiposity and dietary glycemic index as other determinants of serum adiponectin, however the extent to which these factors influence adiponectin concentrations may vary across ethnicities.


Ethnicity Serum adiponectin Diet Body fat Australians Iranians Indians Europeans 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Majid Meshkini, Fariba Alaei-Shahmiri, Cyril Mamotte and Jaya Dantas declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majid Meshkini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fariba Alaei-Shahmiri
    • 3
  • Cyril Mamotte
    • 4
  • Jaya Dantas
    • 1
  1. 1.International Health ProgramCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthIran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS)TehranIran
  3. 3.Endocrine Research Center, Institute of Endocrinology and MetabolismIran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS)TehranIran
  4. 4.School of Biomedical Sciences and Curtin Health Innovation Research InstituteCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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