Objective Nearly, a third of obese individuals, termed metabolically benign obese, have a low burden of adiposity-related cardiometabolic abnormalities, whereas a substantial proportion of normal-weight individuals possess risk factors. Methods In cross-sectional analyses of 699 normal weight and 1,294 overweight/obese postmenopausal women enrolled in a nested case-control stroke study ancillary to the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, we compared levels of adiponectin, leptin, and resistin among metabolically benign normal weight, at-risk normal weight, metabolically benign obese, and at-risk obese women using components of the ATP III definition of the metabolic syndrome (metabolically benign: ≤1 of the four components; at-risk phenotype: ≥2 components or diabetes). Results Overall, 382/699 normal-weight women (54.6%) and 328/1,194 overweight/obese women (27.5%) were metabolically benign. Among normal-weight women, at-risk women had higher leptin and lower adiponectin levels compared to metabolically benign women; multivariate-adjusted odds ratios were significant for having leptin (OR: 2.51; 95% CI: 1.28-5.01) and resistin (1.46; 1.03-2.07) in the top tertile and adiponectin in the bottom tertile (2.64; 1.81-3.84). Compared to metabolically benign overweight/obese women, at-risk obese women had higher odds of having leptin in the top tertile (1.62; 1.24-2.12) and adiponectin in the bottom tertile (2.78; 2.04-3.77). Conclusions Overall, metabolically benign overweight/obese women had an intermediate adipokine profile (between at-risk obese and metabolically benign normal-weight women), whereas at-risk normal-weight women had a less favorable profile compared to metabolically benign normal-weight women. As adiponectin was the only adipokine independent of BMI, it may be most likely to have a role in the etiological pathway of these phenotypes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics