OBJECTIVE To investigate the relationship between adiposity measures and plasma concentration of high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin. METHODS In a Chinese sample (n = 1081), we performed measurements of anthropometry and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). We defined overweight and obesity as a body mass index between 24 and 27.4 kg/m² and ≥ 27.5 kg/m², respectively, and central obesity as a waist circumference ≥ 90 cm in men and ≥ 80 cm in women. Plasma HMW adiponectin concentration was measured by the ELISA method. RESULTS Plasma HMW adiponectin concentration was significantly (P < 0.0001) higher in women (n = 677, 2.47 μg/mL) than men (n = 404, 1.58 μg/mL) and correlated with advancing age in men (r = 0.28) and women (r = 0.29). In adjusted analyses, it was lower in the presence of overweight (n = 159, 1.26 μg/mL in men and n = 227, 2.15μg/mL in women) and obesity (n = 60, 1.31 μg/mL and n = 82, 2.10 μg/mL, respectively) than normal weight subjects (n = 185, 2.07μg/mL and n = 368, 2.94 μg/mL, respectively) and in the presence of central obesity (n = 106, 1.28 μg/mL and n = 331, 2.12 μg/mL, respectively) than subjects with a normal waist circumference (n = 298, 1.74 μg/mL and n = 346, 2.74 μg/mL, respectively). In multiple regression analyses stratified for gender, adjusted for confounders and considered separately each of the adiposity measures, all adiposity measures were significantly (r -0.18 to -0.31, P < 0.001) associated with plasma HMW adiponectin concentration. However, in further stratified and adjusted regression analyses considered stepwise all adiposity measures, only waist-to-hip ratio was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with plasma HMW adiponectin concentration in men (r = -0.10) and women (r = -0.15). CONCLUSIONS Anthropometric measures of obesity, such as waist-to-hip ratio, but not BIA measures, are independently associated with plasma adiponectin concentration.