Background: Leptin secretion has been reported to be highly correlated with body fat. However, measurement of serum leptin levels is cost intensive and requires sophisticated equipment.
Objective: To determine the relationship between serum leptin levels and indices of obesity among Nigerians.
Materials and Methods: A random sample of 96 apparently healthy adults was studied. Anthropometric parameters and serum leptin levels were measured. Data were analyzed using Minitab statistical software.
Results: The male:female ratio of the subjects was 1.28:1; their ages ranged from 30 to 85 years with a mean ± SD of 50.27 ± 1.42 years. The means of weight (% difference 11.6, p = 0.09), height (% difference 6.0, p = 0.001) and waist–hip ratio (% difference 6.4, p = 0.001) were higher in male subjects. The mean ± SD of serum leptin (ng/mL) for the male and female respondents were 4.23 ± 2.22 and 5.3 ± 2.59, respectively. A significant positive correlation between serum leptin levels and body mass index (BMI) was observed (r = 0.48, p = 0.001). Similarly, serum leptin levels were positively correlated with waist circumference (r = 0.39, p = 0.001). In a model of binary logistic regression, BMI was the only variable that emerged as the independent predictor of serum leptin level.
Conclusion: This study suggests that BMI can be used to project serum leptin levels. The finding is a clarion call on clinicians and researchers to further test the effectiveness of this relationship.
Serum leptin, indices of obesity, Nigeria, low-resource setting