Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Contents:

Information:

  • Access

Figures:

Actions:

      • Send article to Kindle

        To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

        Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

        Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

        Cord leptin is inversely associated with changes in weight and adiposity in infancy
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Dropbox

        To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

        Cord leptin is inversely associated with changes in weight and adiposity in infancy
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Google Drive

        To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

        Cord leptin is inversely associated with changes in weight and adiposity in infancy
        Available formats
        ×
Export citation

Emerging evidence suggests that fetal exposure to low-circulating concentrations of the adipocyte-derived hormone leptin may promote a fast growth trajectory in infancy and predispose to childhood obesity( 1 , 2 ). To date, studies examining this association have used weight gain as a measure of growth, while none have used more precise measures of body composition. The aim of this study was to determine associations between umbilical cord blood leptin concentrations and changes in weight and adiposity during infancy.

Cord leptin concentrations were measured in 346 infants participating in the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort Study. Weight was measured at birth, 2, 6, 12 and 24 months. Age-and-sex specific standard deviation scores (SDS) were generated using the UK-WHO growth reference data( 3 ). Fat mass and fat-free mass [kg] were measured by air displacement plethysmography at a mean (SD) age of 1·9 (1·0) days and 2·1 (0·3) months and fat mass index (FMI) and fat free mass index (FFMI) [kg/m2] were calculated. Multivariate linear regression was used to explore associations between cord leptin and (1) changes in weight SDS between specified age-intervals in the first 2 years and (2) changes in body composition between birth and 2 months. Models were adjusted for birth weight SDS, gestational age, breastfeeding status at 2 or 6 months and maternal smoking during pregnancy.

Cord leptin was associated with birth weight SDS (Spearman's r = 0. 45, P < 0·001), FMI at birth (r = 0·48, P < 0·001) and FFMI at birth (r = 0·13, P = 0·027). After adjustment for birth weight SDS, the association with FFMI disappeared (r = −0·09, P = 0·127). For the first time, we show a highly significant inverse association between cord leptin and the change in FMI between birth and 2 months (data in Table). Inverse associations between cord leptin and changes in weight SDS from birth to 2 months persisted through the 6, 12 and 24 month assessments. However, there were no associations between cord leptin and changes in weight SDS between 2 and 6 or 6 and 12 months.

In conclusion, we have shown in a large prospective birth cohort that lower cord leptin is associated with faster weight gain from birth through to 2 years, and with greater increases in adiposity in early infancy. Low cord leptin may be a marker of an adverse intrauterine environment, leading to lower adiposity at birth and modified appetite regulation, driving faster postnatal growth. The lack of an association between cord leptin and weight gain from 2 months indicates that the early postnatal period (0–2 months) may represent a critical window whereby exposure to low leptin concentrations ‘programmes’ infant growth trajectory. Further longitudinal data are required to determine the long-term implications.

This work was supported by the National Children's Research Centre. Ethical approval was granted by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Cork Teaching Hospitals, ref ECM 5 (9) 01/07/2008 and the study is registered with the United States National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials Registry (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), ID: NCT01498965. The study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki.

1. Ong, KK, Ahmed, ML, Sherriff, A et al. (1999) J Clin Endocrinol Metab 84, 11451148
2. Parker, M, Rifas-Shiman, SL, Belfort, MB et al. (2011) J Pediatr 158, 227233
3. The UK_WHO Growth Charts: Early Years. London: RCPCH, 2009.