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09-12-2009 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Soluble leptin receptor level predicts diabetes risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Higher levels of soluble leptin receptor are associated with a lower risk for Type 2 diabetes in women, show findings from the Nurses’ Health Study.

“The function of soluble leptin receptor is not entirely clear, but believed to delay the clearance of leptin from the circulation and, thus, increase leptin’s availability,” explain Qi Sun (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and colleagues.

Previous cross-sectional studies have established an inverse association between soluble leptin receptor and adiposity and insulin resistance. For the present study, Sun and team identified 1054 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study who developed diabetes between 1990 and 2004, and matched them with 1254 participants who had remained free of the condition.

Analysis of blood samples that the women had provided during 1989–1990 revealed a strong inverse association between soluble leptin receptor levels and diabetes risk. Compared with women in the lowest quintile (<22.9 ng/ml), those in the second (22.9–27.0 ng/ml), third (27.1–30.8 ng/ml), fourth (30.9–36.9 ng/ml), and fifth (>36.9 ng/ml) quintiles were, respectively, 27%, 49%, 58%, 61% less likely to have developed diabetes.

This association was independent of variables including age, race, body mass index (BMI), family history of diabetes, physical activity, and smoking status. The association remained consistent regardless of patients’ levels of leptin and of high-molecular-weight adiponectin. In contrast, leptin concentrations did not predict diabetes risk after accounting for BMI.

“Biologic mechanisms underlying these novel observations need to be further elucidated,” the team concludes in the journal Diabetes.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Eleanor McDermid

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