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Leptin, adiponectin, and their ratio as markers of insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk in childhood obesity

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BACKGROUND: It is imperative to develop markers for risk stratification and detection of cardiometabolic comorbidities in children with obesity. The adipokines leptin and adiponectin are both involved in fat mass regulation and the development of obesity-related disorders; furthermore, their ratio (leptin/adiponectin ratio) is suggested to be associated with insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate associations between fasting serum concentrations of the adipokines (total leptin and adiponectin as well as the L/A ratio) and cardiometabolic comorbidities in children with overweight/obesity.

METHODS: A total of 2258 children with overweight/obesity or normal weight aged 6 to 18 years were studied. Differences in anthropometrics and adipokine concentrations were tested using Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Associations between the adipokines and cardiometabolic risk were tested using Spearman's correlation and logistic regression, adjusted for age and body mass index SD score (BMI-SDS).

RESULTS: Compared to normal weight children; children with overweight/obesity exhibited higher leptin concentrations, lower adiponectin concentrations, and higher L/A ratios. After adjusting for age and degree of obesity, girls with overweight/obesity in the upper quartile range for the L/A ratio, when compared with girls in the lower quartile range, were more likely to have insulin resistance (odds ratio [OR]: 7.78 [95% confidence interval [CI], 3.78-16.65]), dysglycemia (OR: 3.08 [95% CI, 1.35-7.31]), and dyslipidemia (OR: 2.53 [95% CI, 1.18-5.59]); while boys were more likely to have insulin resistance (OR: 4.45 [95% CI, 2.03-10.10]).

CONCLUSIONS: Independent of the degree of obesity, leptin, adiponectin, and the L/A ratio were associated with insulin resistance and other cardiometabolic comorbidities in children with overweight/obesity, but the L/A ratio exhibited stronger associations than the respective adipokines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Volume21
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)194-202
Number of pages9
ISSN1399-543X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

ID: 58890049