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Rheumatol Int. 2014 Nov;34(11):1593-8. doi: 10.1007/s00296-014-2988-0. Epub 2014 Mar 27.

Hyperleptinemia independent of body adiposity in women with fibromyalgia.

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Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Paraná, Rua Coração de Maria, 92 (BR-116, Km 92), Jardim Botânico, Curitiba, Paraná, CEP 80215-370, Brazil,


The prevalence of overweight and obesity in patients with fibromyalgia is high, which makes these patients more likely to trigger metabolic changes. It is also uncertain whether the clinical manifestations of fibromyalgia alter the metabolism in these patients. This study investigates the influence of adiposity indicators and presence of fibromyalgia on leptin and acylated ghrelin levels, which are hormones responsible for controlling energy homeostasis. Seventeen women with fibromyalgia (patients) and fifteen healthy women (controls) were evaluated. Pain intensity, physical activity level characteristics and leptin and acylated ghrelin levels were assessed. General linear models, using a main-effects model, were used to test the effect of fibromyalgia (patients vs. controls) on the relationship of leptin and acylated ghrelin with anthropometric indicators [body mass index, waist circumference (WC) and WC by height]. Patients showed higher leptin levels (controls: 9.1 ± 6.7 vs. patients: 22.4 ± 10.6 ng/mL; p < 0.01) and lower acylated ghrelin levels (controls: 188.7 ± 103.4 vs. patients: 126.7 ± 47.8 pg/mL; p = 0.04). The anthropometric variables, entered into linear models as independent variables, significantly influenced both leptin and acylated ghrelin levels (p < 0.01). The explained variance (R(2)) of the models containing leptin was higher (R(2) = 0.52-0.61) compared to the models containing acylated ghrelin (R(2) = 0.24-0.27). When analyzing the influence of the presence of fibromyalgia (study group: women with fibromyalgia vs. healthy women), only the leptin levels were influenced. High leptin levels independent of adiposity in women with fibromyalgia may be associated with the clinical condition of this syndrome.

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