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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Oct;24(10):1265-71.

Plasma leptin concentrations and obesity in relation to insulin resistance syndrome components among school children in Taiwan--The Taipei Children Heart Study.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. chuepi@ndmctsgh.edu.tw



Leptin, an adipose tissue-derived product of the obesity (OB) gene, is an important regulator of energy metabolism and may be associated with the occurrence of insulin resistance and diabetes in humans. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association of plasma leptin concentration with obesity and the components of insulin resistance syndrome (IRS) among school children in Taiwan.


After multistage sampling of 85 junior high schools in Taipei, we randomly selected 1,264 children (617 boys and 647 girls) aged 12-16y. Obesity measurements included body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR). We calculated an IRS summary score for each individual by adding the quartile ranks from the distribution of systolic blood pressure (BP), serum triglyceride (TG), HDL-cholesterol (inverse), and insulin levels.


Boys had a higher BMI and WHR, BP and IRS score and lower leptin, insulin, TG and HDL-C levels than girls. BMI, WHR and plasma leptin levels were significantly associated with the IRS summary score and each of its components in both genders. Children with higher plasma leptin levels (> 75th percentiles) have significantly higher BP, TG, insulin levels and IRS score than children with low leptin levels. The associations between plasma leptin level and the IRS components and score were still significant after adjusting for BMI in boys, but less so in girls. In both genders, after adjusting for WHR, plasma leptin levels were still significantly associated with the IRS components and summary score (P< 0.001). The final model that included the standard covariates, BMI and leptin, but not WHR, was the most predictive of the IRS summary score among school children.


Insulin resistance syndrome in childhood, characterized by high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and hyperinsulinemia, may be an early marker of cardiovascular risk. From the present BMI and leptin in combination are the most predictive markers of insulin resistance syndrome among school children in Taiwan.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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