High adiponectin levels are associated with diabetic nephropathy. Nevertheless, it is not known whether plasma adiponectin is associated with renal function decline in the general population. We evaluated whether adiponectin concentrations were associated with changes in renal function in a community cohort, the Data from an Epidemiological Study on the Insulin Resistance Syndrome (DESIR) study.
Plasma adiponectin concentrations were measured in a random sample of 3284 people from the DESIR study, a 9-year prospective cohort from the general population. Data were analysed for three endpoints during follow-up: incidence of Stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD); the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criterion ‘certain drop in eGFR’ and rapid kidney function decline [estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) slope steeper than -3 mL/min/1.73 m2/year].
After exclusion of participants with an eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 at baseline and those with type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glycaemia at any time during follow-up (remaining n = 2174), there was a 113% higher risk for a rapid decline in kidney function in participants with adiponectin above the third tertile (T3) versus below the first tertile (T1) (Ptrend = 0.004) and a 53% higher risk for kidney function decline as defined by the KDIGO criterion (Ptrend = 0.04). In a cross-sectional analysis, adiponectin was positively associated with urinary albumin:creatinine ratio at baseline (P = 0.009).
In a healthy cohort from the general population, higher levels of plasma adiponectin were associated with decreased renal function at baseline and at follow-up. This result is similar to what is observed in people with diabetic nephropathy, in contrast with animal models of nephropathy.

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