The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation between adiponectin and leptin, fat distribution, and insulin resistance in elderly men and women. 68 elderly participants (28 men and 40 women) aged 66-77 years, with body mass index (BMI) ranging from 19.83 to 37.18 kg/m2, participated in the study. In all participants, we evaluated BMI, waist and hip circumferences, sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD), fat mass (FM) by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, fasting and 2-hour glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA), leptin, and adiponectin. Elderly women had significantly higher circulating levels of adiponectin and leptin compared to men even after adjusting for age, FM, or waist circumference. In men and women, leptin was positively associated, whereas adiponectin was negatively associated, with BMI, indices of body fat distribution, as well as FM and FM%. Both fasting insulin and HOMA showed significant positive correlation with leptin and negative correlation with adiponectin in both sexes. In a step-wise multiple regression model with HOMA as the dependent variable and age, gender, waist circumference, FM, leptin, and adiponectin as independent variables, waist entered the regression first, explaining 19.7% of HOMA variance, leptin was second, and adiponectin was third, explaining each one an additional 10% of variance. In a multiple linear regression analysis, leptin and adiponectin alone explained up to 38% of HOMA variance. Leptin and adiponectin together seem to be strictly related to insulin resistance in elderly people, independently of body fat and body fat distribution.
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