Leptin and bone mineral density: a cross-sectional study in obese and nonobese men.

Research paper by Cathrine M CM Morberg, Inge I Tetens, Eva E Black, Soeren S Toubro, Thorkild I A TI Soerensen, Oluf O Pedersen, Arne A Astrup

Indexed on: 13 Dec '03Published on: 13 Dec '03Published in: The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism


Leptin has been suggested to decrease bone mineral density (BMD). This observational analysis explored the relationship between serum leptin and BMD in 327 nonobese men (controls) (body mass index 26.1 +/- 3.7 kg/m(2), age 49.9 +/- 6.0 yr) and 285 juvenile obese men (body mass index 35.9 +/- 5.9 kg/m(2), age 47.5 +/- 5.1 yr). Whole-body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan measured BMD, fat mass, and lean mass. Fasting serum leptin (nanograms per milliliter) was strongly associated with fat mass (kilograms) in both controls (r = 0.876; P < 0.01) and juvenile obese (r = 0.838; P < 0.001). An inverse relation between BMD adjusted for body weight and serum leptin emerged in both the control group (r = -0.186; P < 0.01) and the juvenile obese group (r = -0.135; P < 0.05). In a multiple linear regression, fat mass, lean body mass, and occupational physical activity were positively associated with BMD in the control group, whereas in the juvenile obese, only lean body mass was positively associated with BMD and smoking negatively associated with BMD. Our study supports that leptin is inversely associated with BMD and may play a direct role in the bone metabolism in nonobese and obese Danish males, but it also stresses the fact that the strong covariation between the examined variables is a shortcoming of the cross-sectional design.