PURPOSE: Adiponectin is an adipocytokine, which plays an important role in preventing oxidative stress. In this study, we evaluated serum adiponectin levels in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and the association of serum adiponectin levels with cataractogenesis.
METHODS: This was a prospective case–control study performed in the department of endocrinology and metabolism and department of ophthalmology. In total, 47 individuals with type 2 DM and 21 controls were included in the study. Patients with type 1 diabetes, heart failure, hepatic failure, and renal failure, as well as those younger than 18 years or older than 90 years, were excluded from the study.
RESULTS: Although the DM group had a higher frequency of cataracts, the finding was not statistically significant (p=0.067). The serum adiponectin level was lower in the DM group (p<0.001). Glucose, body mass index, and waist circumference values were higher in the DM group (p<0.001, p=0.008, and p<0.001, respectively). In addition, serum adiponectin levels were lower in the DM group with cataracts (DM group with cataracts vs. controls; p=0.008; and DM group without cataracts vs. controls: p=0.738).
CONCLUSION: Lower serum adiponectin levels were detected in DM patients with cataracts. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate an association between lower adiponectin levels and the presence of cataracts. We hypothesize that adiponectin may play an important role in the pathogenesis of cataracts.