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Objectives: Blood haemoglobin (Hb) concentration declines in elderly men, whilst the level of the adipocyte‐derived protein adiponectin increases with age. The association between erythropoiesis and adiponectin in elderly men is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine whether adipokines such as adiponectin and leptin are associated with anaemia and Hb concentration in elderly community‐dwelling men. Design and setting: The Gothenburg part of the population‐based Swedish Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) cohort (n = 1010; median age 75.3 years, range 69–81). Main outcome measures: We investigated the associations between levels of adiponectin and Hb before and after adjusting for potential confounders [i.e. age, body composition, erythropoietin (EPO), total oestradiol, leptin, cystatin C and iron and B vitamin status]. Results: In these elderly men, age was negatively associated with Hb (r = −0.12, P < 0.001) and positively associated with adiponectin level (r = 0.13, P < 0.001). In age‐adjusted partial correlations, Hb and adiponectin levels were negatively correlated (r = −0.20, P < 0.001); this association remained significant after multivariable adjustment for age, body composition, EPO, fasting insulin, sex hormones, leptin and ferritin. Age‐adjusted mean adiponectin concentrations were significantly higher in anaemic men (66/1005; Hb <130 g L−1) compared to nonanaemic men (14.0 vs. 11.7 μg mL−1, P < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, adiponectin together with EPO, total oestradiol, insulin, albumin, transferrin saturation, HDL cholesterol, cystatin C, total body fat mass and free thyroxine, but not leptin, explained 35% of the variation in Hb level. These results remained essentially unchanged after exclusion of men with diabetes. Conclusions: Serum adiponectin, but not leptin, was negatively and independently associated with Hb. This finding suggests a possible role of adiponectin in the age‐related decline in Hb level observed in apparently healthy elderly men.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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