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11-06-2018 | Rheumatoid arthritis | Article

Leptin as an obesity marker in rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatology International

Authors: Maria Fernanda Brandão de Resende Guimarães, Marcus Vinícius Melo de Andrade, Carla Jorge Machado, Érica Leandro Marciano Vieira, Maria Raquel da Costa Pinto, Antônio Lúcio Teixeira Júnior, Adriana Maria Kakehasi

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg


The determination of excess of body fat mass provides a more suitable determinant of obesity in rheumatoid arthritis patients; however, body mass index (BMI) may not be accurate for the quantification of adiposity. To identify a marker of excess adiposity in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using different methods for fat mass evaluation. A cross-sectional study was conducted in adult female patients with RA. Disease activity was assessed by DAS28-ESR, and obesity was determined by waist circumference (WC), BMI and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The Human Bone Metabolism kit (Merck Millipore, Darmstadt, Alemanha) was used to determine the plasma levels of leptin, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β by quantification of serum proteins by technical microspheres (LUMINEX, TX, USA). Adiponectin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay sandwich kit (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN, USA). Eighty-nine female patients, median age of 55.4 (± 11.6) years, and median disease duration of 16.4 (± 14.9) years were included. The frequency of obesity was 33.7% according to BMI, 89.9% with WC, and 56.1% with DXA. The median serum leptin concentration was the only marker that correlated with body fat percentage according to the three methods. This correlation was positive and not influenced by DAS28, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or inflammatory cytokines levels (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β). Analysis of ROC curves determined the cut-off point of 10.3 ng/mL of leptin as an obesity marker, with a sensitivity of 96.43% and a specificity of 23.81%. Serum leptin correlates positively with fat mass and is potentially useful in excess fat mass determination in clinical practice.

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