An evaluation of visfatin levels in obese subjects

Author(s): Kaminska A, Kopczynska E, Bronisz A, Zmudzinska M, Bielinski M, et al.


Introduction: Visfatin is a protein secreted by adipose tissue, which shows insulin mimetic properties. The role of visfatin in the development of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome continues to raise controversy. The aim of the study was to evaluate visfatin levels and to attempt to establish the relationship between visfatin and selected anthropometric and biochemical parameters in obese individuals.

Material and methods: The study included 68 obese subjects (15 men and 53 women) aged 37.8 +/- 13.2 years with body mass index (BMI) values of 39.4 +/- 6.4 kg/m(2) without a previous diagnosis of abnormal glucose metabolism. The control group comprised 30 healthy nonobese volunteers (6 men and 24 women) with normal glucose metabolism, aged 38.2 +/- 14.9 years with BMI values of 22.8 +/- 3.0 kg/m(2).

Results: We found significantly higher visfatin levels in the obese subjects compared to the control group (median visfatin level of 39.6 v. 17.3 ng/ml, p = 0.0006). In the obese group there was a statistically significant negative correlation between visfatin levels and age (r = -0.26, p = 0.034), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (r = -0.28, p = 0.031) and glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) (r = -0.36, p = 0.0037). No statistically significant correlations were found between visfatin levels and the remaining parameters under study. In the control group, visfatin levels did not show any significant correlation with any of the parameters under study.

Conclusions: We found elevated levels of visfatin in obese subjects, which did not correlate with the majority of anthropometric parameters with the exception of WHR (negative correlation). This correlation may suggest that elevated visfatin levels are associated with the distribution of adipose tissue characteristic of gynoid rather than visceral obesity. In the group of obese subjects, visfatin levels decreased with age and glycated haemoglobin levels.

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