AIMS: Small for gestational age (SGA) is associated with increased rates of neonatal mortality and morbidity. Adiponectin secreted from adipose tissue is implicated in the etiology of death and illness during infancy. SGA is also a likely risk factor for the development of metabolic and clinical complications in adulthood. The present study was performed to determine whether SGA neonates and
healthy controls show differences in blood adiponectin concentration at birth. METHODS Databases were searched to identify English-language studies providing the numbers of SGA neonates, the numbers of healthy controls, and the means and standard deviations (SDs) of blood adiponectin concentrations at birth in both groups. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). A meta-analysis was performed to summarize the standardized mean differences (SMDs) in blood adiponectin concentration between SGA neonates and healthy controls. RESULTS The results summarized from five good quality (i.e., NOS score≥5) studies involving 253 neonates showed that blood adiponectin concentration was significantly lower in SGA neonates than in healthy controls (P=0.016), and the effect was moderate (i.e., SMD=0.4-0.7). CONCLUSIONS Synthetic evidence indicated that blood adiponectin concentration at birth is lower in SGA neonates than in healthy controls.