Serum Adiponectin Levels and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Nonoverweight and Overweight Portuguese Adolescents: The LabMed Physical Activity Study

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study examined the independent associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and circulating adiponectin concentration in adolescents, controlling for several potential covariates.


This is a cross-sectional study in Portuguese adolescents. A sample of 529 (267 girls) aged 12–18 years were included and categorized as overweight and nonoverweight. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed by 20 meters shuttle run test. We measured serum adiponectin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, fasting glucose, insulin and HDL-cholesterol.


After adjustment for age, sex, pubertal stage, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, socioeconomic status, body fat percentage, insulin resistance, HDL-cholesterol and C-reactive protein, regression analysis showed a significant inverse association between adiponectin and cardiorespiratory fitness in nonoverweight participants (B=-0.359; p < .042). Analysis of covariance showed a significant difference between the highest cardiorespiratory fitness Healthy zone (above healthy zone) and the Under and the Healthy cardiorespiratory fitness zones in nonoverweight adolescents (p = .03) (F (2, 339) = 3.156, p < .001).


Paradoxically, serum adiponectin levels are inversely associated with cardiorespiratory fitness in nonoverweight, but not in overweight adolescents. In nonoverweight adolescents, those with highest levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (above healthy zone) presented lower levels of adiponectin compared with those in Under and Healthy cardiorespiratory fitness zones.

Agostinis-Sobrinho, Moreira, Abreu, Lopes, Oliveira-Santos, and Mota are with the Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal. Steene-Johannessen is with the Dept. of Health Sciences, Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway. Santos is with the Early Start Research Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences. University of Wollongong, Australia.

Address author correspondence to César Agostinis-Sobrinho at