Leptin and Insulin Resistance in Obese Children

  • Noor T. Tahir National Diabetic Center/AL-Mustansiriya University
  • Hind S. Ahmed Department of Chemistry, College of Education for Pure Science/ University of Baghdad
  • ALmottesembellah A. Gaiz National Center of Hematology/ AL-Mustansiriya University
Keywords: Obesity, insulin resistance, Leptin



Background: Insulin resistance (IR) is the primary metabolic disorder associated with obesity. Obesity is a growing worldwide health problem affecting both adults and children. Objectives: To determine the association between leptin and IR, and to identify the ratio of fasting glucose/leptin (G/L) and insulin/leptin (I/L) as a new simple method for the detection of IR in obese children.

Methods: This study was done in the National Diabetic Center/ AL-Mustansiriya University during the period from May 2013 until the end of October 2013. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum insulin, leptin, and lipid profile were measured in 52 obese children (24 children with IR and 28 without IR); their age range was (5-15) years, they were compared with 38 healthy children as a control group.

Results: Means of FBG, insulin, leptin, total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol (TAG), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and non high density lipoprotein cholesterol (non HDL-C) were significantly increased in obese children with IR as compared in children without IR, (P<0.05), while there was a significant decrease in serum level of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in obese children with IR when compared with obese children without IR, (P=0.001). There was a decrease in the ratio of G/L and an increase in the ratio of I/L in obese children with IR, but it was not significant. A significant positive correlation was found between serum leptin verse body mass index (BMI), FBG, insulin, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), I/L ratio, TC, TAG, LDL-C, and non HDL-C, while a significant negative correlation was found between serum leptin and HDL-C in obese children with IR. Conclusions: The present results showed that serum leptin is correlated with BMI, FBG, insulin, HOMA-IR, I/L ratio, TC, TAG, LDL-C, and non HDL-C in obese children with IR. The G/L ratio can be used in addition to me /L ratio, and HOMA to accurately assess IR in obese children.