The Association between Multiparity and Adipokine Levels: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Carla P. Rodriguez, Oluseye Ogunmoroti, Renato Quispe, Olatokunbo Osibogun, Chiadi E. Ndumele, Justin Echouffo Tcheugui, Anum S. Minhas, Alain G. Bertoni, Matthew A. Allison, Erin D. Michos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Multiparity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the mechanisms of this relationship are unknown. Adipokines may predispose multiparous women to certain cardiometabolic complications that can increase their risk of future CVD. Materials and Methods: We studied 973 female participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis free of CVD, who had complete data on parity and adipokines measured at Examination 2 or 3 (randomly assigned). Parity was categorized as nulliparity, 1-2, 3-4, and ?5 live births. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the association of parity with leptin, resistin, and adiponectin levels. Results: The women had mean age of 65 ± 9 years. After adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, study site, education, menopause status, smoking, physical activity, use of hormone therapy, and waist circumference, a history of grand multiparity (?5 live births) was associated with 11% higher resistin levels (95% confidence interval [CI] 0-23) and 3-4 live births was associated with 23% higher leptin levels (95% CI 7-42), compared with nulliparity. After adjustment for computed tomography-measured visceral fat, the association of 3-4 live births with leptin remained significant. There were no significant associations of parity with adipokines after further adjustment for additional CVD risk factors. Multigravidity (but not parity) was inversely associated with adiponectin levels. Conclusions: In a multiethnic cohort of women, greater parity was associated with resistin and leptin; however, this association was attenuated after accounting for CVD risk factors. Dysregulation of adipokines could contribute to the excess CVD risk associated with multiparity. Further studies are needed to determine whether adipokines independently mediate the relationship between multiparity and CVD. Clinical trials registration: The MESA cohort is registered at NCT00005487.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-749
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • adipokines
  • adiposity
  • parity
  • risk factors
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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