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Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Feb;33(2):361-8.

Association of the serum leptin concentration with weight loss in chronic hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Japan.


Circulating leptin, which is partly cleared by the kidney, has been reported to increase with chronic renal failure and thus may play a role in the weight loss of patients with chronic renal failure. We investigated the association of body weight loss with the serum leptin concentration in Japanese hemodialysis patients. The relationship between serum leptin and the body mass index (BMI) or body fat mass was compared among 181 patients undergoing hemodialysis and 185 control subjects. There was no difference in the serum leptin concentration between the hemodialysis patients (HD) and controls (C) for either the men (3.9 +/- 0.2 ng/mL for HD, n=117; 3.9 +/- 0.3 ng/mL for C, n=89; NS) or women (8.9 +/- 1.2 ng/mL for HD, n=64; 7.4 +/- 0.5 ng/mL for C, n=96; NS), whereas BMI of the hemodialysis patients was significantly lower than that of the controls for both the men (20.1 +/- 0.2 kg/m2 for HD, 22.4 +/- 0.3 kg/m2 for C, P < 0.001) and women (19.2 +/- 0.3 kg/m2 for HD, 22.0 +/- 0.4 kg/m2 for C, P < 0.001). The serum leptin/body fat mass ratio was significantly correlated with the weight change of the patients during a follow-up evaluation period of 17 months (r = -0.37, P < 0.05 for men, n=27 and r = -0.53, P < 0.005 for women, n=28), indicating the possibility that a relatively high level of serum leptin had induced weight loss in the hemodialysis patients. The serum leptin/body fat mass ratio also showed a significant inverse correlation with the duration of hemodialysis (r = -0.31, P < 0.05 for men and r = -0.49, P < 0.05 for women). A multiple regression analysis indicated that the body fat mass was significantly correlated with serum leptin concentration, whereas the fat distribution did not have any relationship with leptin. These data indicate that a high level of serum leptin relative to the body fat mass might be associated with weight loss in long-term hemodialysis patients. The serum leptin level relative to the body fat mass also seems to have been affected by the duration of hemodialysis.

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