Biomarkers of adiposity are elevated in preterm very-low-birth-weight infants at 1, 2, and 3 y of age

Andrea F. Duncan, Joshua A. Frankfurt, Roy J. Heyne, Charles R. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background:Preterm, very-low-birth-weight (PT-VLBW) neonates are at-risk for metabolic syndrome later in life. At 1-3 y, they exhibit excessive weight-for-length z-scores (Wt-L Z) and elevated systolic blood pressures (SBP). Serum adipokines are biomarkers of adiposity, but expression in PT-VLBW infants is unclear. We examined the correlation between serum adipokine levels, anthropometric measures and SBP in PT-VLBW neonates at follow-up.Methods:This was a cross-sectional cohort study of PT-VLBW infants at 1, 2, and 3 y of age (40/cohort). We measured SBP, abdominal circumference (AC) and anthropometrics; calculated age/gender-specific z-scores for Wt, L, Wt-L and subscapular skin fold (SS Z), and measured serum adipokines.Results:Serum leptin was unaffected by chronologic age and gender, but was positively correlated with weight, Wt-L Z, AC, and SS Z at 1 and 3 y (P < 0.01). Female infants at 1 and 3 y had a more significant relationship than males between serum leptin and SS Z (P < 0.001, R = 0.75 and P < 0.001, R = 0.70, respectively). Adiponectin levels were 16-20% lower at 3 vs. 1-2 y (P = 0.02, ANOVA) and negatively correlated with SBP.Conclusion:Although serum leptin was unrelated to advancing age, gender, and SBP in PT-VLBW infants, levels correlated with measures of adiposity at 1 and 3 y, females > males, suggesting leptin resistance may occur in early infancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-786
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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