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Circ J. 2018 Nov 24;82(12):2954-2961. doi: 10.1253/circj.CJ-18-0517. Epub 2018 Oct 3.

Positive Association of High Leptin Level and Abdominal Aortic Calcification in Men - The Prospective MINOS Study.

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INSERM UMR1033, University of Lyon, Hospices Civils de Lyon.
CNRS, iBV UMR 7277, Nice Sophia Antipolis University.
INSERM, iBV U1091.
Laboratory of Medical Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hospices Civils de Lyon.
Department of Hormonology, Saint Roch Hospital, Nice University Hospital.
Department of Clinical Research, Cimiez Hospital, Nice University Hospital.
Department of Public Health, University of Lyon, Hospices Civils de Lyon.
Department of Rheumatology, Medical Faculty, Pasteur Hospital, Nice University Hospital, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis.



Severe abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) points to high cardiovascular risk and leptin stimulates arterial calcification; however, clinical data on their association are scarce. We studied the link between serum leptin and AAC severity and progression, and the effect of smoking and lipid levels, on this association in men. Methods and Results: At baseline, 548 community-dwelling men aged 50-85 years underwent blood collection and lateral lumbar spine radiography. In 448 men, X-ray was repeated after 3 and 7.5 years. AAC was assessed using Kauppila's semiquantitative score. In multivariable models, high leptin was associated with higher odds of severe AAC (odds ratio [OR]=1.71 per SD, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.22-2.40). The odds of severe AAC were the highest in men who had elevated leptin levels and either were ever-smokers (OR=9.22, 95% CI: 3.43-24.78) or had hypertriglyceridemia (vs. men without these characteristics). Higher leptin was associated with greater AAC progression (OR=1.34 per SD, 95% CI: 1.04-1.74). The risk of AAC progression was the highest in men who had elevated leptin levels and either were current smokers or had high low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (OR=5.91, 95% CI: 2.46-14.16 vs. men without these characteristics). These links remained significant after adjustment for baseline AAC and in subgroups defined according to smoking and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels.


In older men, high leptin levels are associated with greater severity and rapid progression of AAC independent of smoking, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol or triglycerides.


Abdominal aortic calcification; Leptin; Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol; Smoking; Triglycerides

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