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Keywords:

  • Leptin;
  • adiponectin;
  • insulin resistance

Summary

To investigate the association between plasma leptin and adiponectin and insulin sensitivity in children, 580 school children (294 boys and 286 girls) with mean age of 13.3 years (12–16 years) were randomly selected from the Taipei Children Heart Study. Baseline measurements included body weight, body mass index (BMI), plasma glucose, insulin, proinsulin, leptin and adiponectin levels. Insulin resistance and β-cell function were assessed using the method of homeostatic model, HOMA-IR and HOMA-β, respectively. We found that girls had higher levels of plasma leptin, adiponectin and HOMA-β than boys. There was no significant difference in HOMA-IR between boys and girls. Plasma leptin concentrations were positively correlated with body weight, BMI, insulin and proinsulin concentrations, HOMA-IR and HOMA-β, whereas plasma adiponectin levels were inversely associated with body weight, BMI and proinsulin levels in both sexes. In girls, adiponectin concentrations were negatively correlated with insulin concentration and HOMA-IR. In multiple regression analyses, plasma leptin was more positively associated with insulin and proinsulin levels, HOMA-IR and HOMA-β than was adiponectin in boys. This association persisted even after adjusting for body weight, BMI and pubertal status. In conclusion, plasma leptin was more strongly associated with insulin sensitivity and β-cell function than was adiponectin among children, particularly in boys.