Hyperleptinemia - an independent predictor of metabolic syndromein the adult population in Kerala, India

Manju K. Sudharmadevi, Vijayalekshmi Lekshminarayan, Leena K. Balakumaran, Shenoy K. Trivikrama


Background: Hyperleptinemia, associated with obesity which is a major risk factor for metabolic syndrome. Kerala has the highest prevalence of most of the cardio metabolic disorders and risk factors. So we analysed the ability of serum leptin level to predict the risk of developing metabolic syndrome among the adult population in Kerala, India.

Methods: The study included 149 men and 155 women in the age group of 20-60years. Anthropometric measurements and Blood pressure were recorded. BMI and WHR were calculated. Fasting blood sample was used to measure serum leptin, insulin, lipid profile and glucose. HOMA-IR and HOMA-β were calculated. Baseline characterestics (means ± SEM) of men and women were examined by quartiles of serum leptin levels using ANOVA. The strength of association between leptin and components of metabolic syndrome was expressed as Odds Ratio (OR) using logistic regression analysis. p values <0.05 were considered significant.

Results: In men and women, participants in the upper leptin quartiles were more likely to have factors associated with metabolic syndrome including waist circumference, systolic BP, decreased HDL cholesterol etc. Furthermore, those with metabolic syndrome were more likely to be in the upper leptin quartiles. On multivariate binary logistic regression analysis of leptin, the OR was: BMI (OR=3.51), waist circumference (OR=3.14), insulin (OR=4.43), and HOMA-IR (OR=2.4) in men, while in women the association of leptin was strong with abdominal obesity (OR=7.6), insulin (OR=2.8) and Insulin resistance (OR=4.1).

Conclusions: Serum leptin levels had a strong association with components of metabolic syndrome, especially abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. Elevated leptin level should be taken as a warning sign of metabolic syndrome.


Metabolic syndrome, Leptin, Kerala, Abdominal obesity, Insulin resistance

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