Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1017/S003329171300069X
Title (Primary) Peer problems are associated with elevated serum leptin levels in children
Author Kohlboeck, G.; Romanos, M.; Tiesler, C.; Koletzko, S.; Kratzsch, J.; Thiery, J.; Bauer, C.-P.; von Berg, A.; Berdel, D.; Hoffmann, B.; Schaaf, B.; Lehmann, I.; Herbarth, O.; Heinrich, J.
Source Titel Psychological Medicine
Year 2014
Department IMMU
Volume 44
Issue 2
Page From 255
Page To 265
Language englisch
Keywords Behavior problems; depression; epidemiology; HPA axis; leptin; obesity; peer relationship problems; psychopathology; stress
UFZ wide themes RU3;

Background Leptin is thought to act as an important mediator in stress reactions. To date, no study has examined the association between psychological stress and leptin levels in children. This study aimed to assess the association between emotional symptoms and peer problems and serum leptin levels in children aged 10 years of the two population-based GINI-plus and LISA-plus birth cohorts.

Method Cross-sectional data from 2827 children aged 10 years were assessed with regard to leptin concentrations in serum and behavioral problems using the parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Linear regression modeling was applied to determine the likelihood of elevated leptin levels in children with emotional symptoms and peer problems, controlling for socio-economic status (SES), body mass index (BMI), fasting serum leptin levels, pubertal development and sex hormones.

Results We found that increases in emotional symptoms (exp β adj = 1.03, s.e. = 0.02, p < 0.04) and peer problems (exp β adj = 1.05, s.e. = 0.01, p = 0.0001) were significantly associated with higher serum leptin levels controlled for BMI and sociodemographic factors. Similar results were found when the fasting serum leptin sample was examined (exp β adj = 1.08, s.e. = 0.04, p = 0.0294). Gender-stratified analyses showed a significant relationship between serum leptin and peer problems in girls (exp β adj = 1.05, s.e. = 0.02, p = 0.03), and a borderline significant association in boys (exp β adj = 1.04, s.e. = 0.02, p = 0.05).

Conclusions Children with peer problems have higher stress and eat more, acquire a higher body fat mass and thus, through increased leptin resistance, exhibit higher leptin levels.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Kohlboeck, G., Romanos, M., Tiesler, C., Koletzko, S., Kratzsch, J., Thiery, J., Bauer, C.-P., von Berg, A., Berdel, D., Hoffmann, B., Schaaf, B., Lehmann, I., Herbarth, O., Heinrich, J. (2014):
Peer problems are associated with elevated serum leptin levels in children
Psychol. Med. 44 (2), 255 - 265 10.1017/S003329171300069X