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Association between plasma leptin and blood pressure in two population-based samples of children and adolescents

  • Anders Grontved
  • Jostein Steene-Johannessen
  • Iben Kynde
  • Paul Franks
  • Jorn Wulf Helge
  • Karsten Froberg
  • Sigmund A. Anderssen
  • Lars Bo Andersen
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 1093-1100
Publication/Series: Journal of Hypertension
Volume: 29
Issue: 6
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Abstract english

Objectives In this study we examined the association between leptin and blood pressure in a population-based study of Danish and Norwegian children and adolescents. Because of the putative bidirectional relationship between leptin and adiposity we formally tested (i) the mediating effect of body mass index in the association between leptin and blood pressure, and (ii) the mediating effect of leptin in the association between body mass index and blood pressure. Methods To examine these aims we used a cross-sectional random sample of children and adolescents from Denmark and Norway (n=1993) who had measures of leptin, anthropometry, blood pressure and other personal and biological risk factors for raised blood pressure available. Results Both body mass index and leptin were positively associated with blood pressure (P<0.001). The association with leptin was stronger in pre- and early-pubertal children compared to late-and post-pubertal adolescents (P<0.01 for interaction). The association between leptin and blood pressure was almost completely mediated by body mass index, whereas the association between body mass index and blood pressure was modestly mediated by leptin. Conclusion Leptin was strongly associated with blood pressure, a relationship that to a large extent was mediated by body mass index. Conversely, the association between body mass index and blood pressure was only modestly mediated by leptin. This indicates that the influence of adiposity on blood pressure is also driven by other biological risk factors beyond leptin. Such factors could include insulin, glucose, and triglycerides although residual confounding also could account for the observed relationships. J Hypertens 29:1093-1100 (C) 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • adiposity
  • blood pressure
  • children
  • leptin


  • Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • ISSN: 1473-5598
Paul Franks
E-mail: paul [dot] franks [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology

+46 40 39 11 49



Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Entrance 72, House 91:12. SE-205 02 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00