Differential associations of leptin with adiposity across early childhood

Authors

  • Caroline E. Boeke,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    3. Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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    • Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

  • Christos S. Mantzoros,

    1. Boston VA Healthcare System and Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Michael D. Hughes,

    1. Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman,

    1. Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Eduardo Villamor,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    3. Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Chloe A. Zera,

    1. Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Matthew W. Gillman

    1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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Correspondence: Caroline E. Boeke (caroline.boeke@mail.harvard.edu)

Abstract

Objective

To examine associations of perinatal and 3-year leptin with weight gain and adiposity through 7 years.

Design and Methods

In Project Viva, plasma leptin from mothers at 26-28 weeks' gestation (n = 893), umbilical cord vein at delivery (n = 540), and children at 3 years (n = 510) was assessed in relation to BMI z-score, waist circumference, skinfold thicknesses, and dual X-ray absorptiometry body fat.

Results

50.1% of children were male and 29.5% non-white. Mean (SD) maternal, cord, and age 3 leptin concentrations were 22.9 (14.2), 8.8 (6.4), and 1.8 (1.7) ng/ml, respectively, and 3- and 7-year BMI z-scores were 0.46 (1.00) and 0.35 (0.97), respectively. After adjusting for parental and child characteristics, higher maternal and cord leptin were associated with less 3-year adiposity. For example, mean 3-year BMI z-score was 0.5 lower (95% CI: −0.7, −0.2; P-trend = 0.003) among children whose mothers' leptin concentrations were in the top versus bottom quintile. In contrast, higher age 3 leptin was associated with greater weight gain and adiposity through age 7 [e.g., change in BMI z-score from 3 to 7 years was 0.2 units (95% CI: −0.0, 0.4; P-trend =0.05)].

Conclusion

Higher perinatal leptin was associated with lower 3-year adiposity, whereas higher age 3 leptin was associated with greater weight gain and adiposity by 7 years.

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