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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2013, Article ID 327079, 9 pages
Research Article

Hyperleptinemia, Adiposity, and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Older Adults

1Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
2National Institute on Aging, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
3University of California, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
4Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburg, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
5Memphis Field Center, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN 38163, USA
6Center on Disability and Disabling Disorders, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Received 30 June 2013; Accepted 3 October 2013

Academic Editor: Michael B. Zemel

Copyright © 2013 Suruchi Mishra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Abdominal adiposity and serum leptin increase with age as does risk of metabolic syndrome. This study investigates the prospective association between leptin and metabolic syndrome risk in relation to adiposity and cytokines. Methods. The Health, Aging, and Body Composition study is a prospective cohort of older adults aged 70 to 79 years. Baseline measurements included leptin, cytokines, BMI, total percent fat, and visceral and subcutaneous fat. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the association between leptin and metabolic syndrome (defined per NCEP ATP III) incidence after 6 years of follow-up among 1,120 men and women. Results. Leptin predicted metabolic syndrome in men ( for trend = 0.0002) and women ( for trend = 0.0001). In women, risk of metabolic syndrome increased with higher levels of leptin (compared with quintile 1, quintile 2 RR = 3.29, CI = 1.36, 7.95; quintile 3 RR = 3.25, CI = 1.33, 7.93; quintile 4 RR = 5.21, CI = 2.16, 12.56; and quintile 5 RR = 7.97, CI = 3.30, 19.24) after adjusting for potential confounders. Leptin remained independently associated with metabolic syndrome risk after additional adjustment for adiposity, cytokines, and CRP. Among men, this association was no longer significant after controlling for adiposity. Conclusion. Among older women, elevated concentrations of leptin may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome independent of adiposity and cytokines.