A new research study conducted by Jefferson researchers has found that kidney disease may be a more important risk factor for heart disease than cholesterol. Studies conducted on mice have revealed that mice with low levels of the protein hormone adiponectin may also have high levels of a protein called albumin, which is increased in kidney disease.
A negative correlation was found between urinary albumin and adiponectin levels in obese mice. Mice without adiponectin had three times the normal level of urine albumin than its counterpart.
The adiponectin levels were also simultaneously measured in a group of obese African American adolescents and similar results were obtained. Subjects who had a low level of adiponectin also had albuminuria, high levels of the protein albumin in their urine. Albuminuria is an indicator for kidney disease.
It was found that obese people with low levels of the hormone had albuminuria, throwing light on the relation of metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders, predisposing to heart disease.
The researchers next step is to understand the mechanism behind the reduction of adiponectin levels in obese people. Further studies are clearly needed to resolve the complex triangle involving heart disease, obesity and cholesterol.