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Serum adipokine levels in patients with type 1 diabetes are associated with degree of obesity but only resistin is independently associated with atherosclerosis markers



The role of adipokines in causing inflammation and insulin resistance in normal weight and obese patients is generally well studied. However, there are often conflicting results regarding their levels in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) patients and their relationship to micro- and macrovascular disease. We therefore investigated which serum adipokine levels are independently associated with markers of early atherosclerosis and microvascular complications in patients with T1DM.


A cross-sectional study was performed in the Diabetes Outpatient Clinic of Hippokrateion General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece. Sixty T1DM patients (30 females, mean age 38.8 ± 10.6 years, mean diabetes duration 17.4 ± 9.9 years) were included. Plasma adiponectin, leptin, and resistin, carotid artery intima media thickness (cIMT), and arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity, PWV/SpygmoCor CP System and Mobil-O-Graph 24 h PWA) were assessed.


Leptin and resistin levels were significantly higher in overweight and obese patients (p = 0.002 and p = 0.039, respectively). Adiponectin was the only adipokine negatively correlated with BMI (rs =  − 0.41, p = 0.001). We report a bivariate association between serum adiponectin levels and retinopathy (p = 0.007). Resistin was the only adipokine that showed significant correlation with systolic (rs = 0.42, p = 0.001) and diastolic (rs = 0.29, p = 0.024) hypertension and PWV (p = 0.035).


Serum adipokine levels demonstrate similar bivariate associations with anthropometric variables in patients with T1DM to those in normal weight subjects. Although microvascular complications are associated with serum adipokine levels by bivariate analysis, only resistin, an inflammatory marker, is independently associated with arterial stiffness in patients with T1DM.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during the current study are available from the corresponding author on request.

Code availability

Not applicable.



Body mass index


Body weight


Central blood pressure


Common carotid artery


Carotid artery intima media thickness


Maximum carotid artery intima media thickness


Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument


Chronic kidney disease


Diastolic blood pressure


Estimated glomerular filtration rate


Glycated hemoglobin


Pulse wave velocity


Systolic blood pressure


Type 1 diabetes mellitus


Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Urine albumin to creatinine ratio


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We wish to thank all volunteers who participated in this trial.


This work was supported by the Northern Greece Diabetes Association.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Erieta Kollari.

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The study was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Ethics in Research Committee of the School of Public Health of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

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Kollari, E., Zografou, I., Sampanis, C. et al. Serum adipokine levels in patients with type 1 diabetes are associated with degree of obesity but only resistin is independently associated with atherosclerosis markers. Hormones (2021).

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  • Leptin
  • Adiponectin
  • Resistin
  • cIMT
  • PWV