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Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between circulating leptin and knee cartilage thickness in older adults


Stannus, OP and Cao, Y and Antony, B and Blizzard, L and Cicuttini, F and Jones, G and Ding, C, Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between circulating leptin and knee cartilage thickness in older adults, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases: The Euler Journal, 74, (1) pp. 82-88. ISSN 1468-2060 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 the authors

DOI: doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203308


Objective: To investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between serum leptin levels and knee cartilage thickness in older adults.

Methods: A prospective cohort of 163 randomly selected subjects (mean 63 years, range 52-78, 46% women) was studied. Knee cartilage thickness at medial tibial, lateral tibial, femoral and patellar sites was determined using T1-weighted fat-suppressed MRI. Serum leptin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Radiographic osteoarthritis, body fat (%), trunk fat (%), weight and height were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated.

Results: Cross-sectionally, serum levels of leptin were negatively associated with femoral (β: -0.013, 95% CI -0.022 to -0.003), medial tibial (β: -0.009, 95% CI -0.018 to -0.001), lateral tibial (β: -0.012, 95% CI -0.021 to -0.003) and patellar (β: -0.014, 95% CI -0.026 to -0.002) cartilage thickness after adjustment for covariates. Moreover, BMI, trunk fat and total body fat were negatively associated with cartilage thickness, and the significant associations disappeared after further adjustment for leptin. Longitudinally, both baseline leptin and change in leptin were associated with greater changes in medial tibial cartilage thickness (β: -0.004, 95% CI -0.007 to -0.001 and β: -0.009, 95% CI -0.018 to -0.001, respectively) in multivariable analyses.

Conclusions: Serum levels of leptin are independently and consistently associated with reduced cartilage thickness cross-sectionally and longitudinally. In addition, the associations between adiposity measures and cartilage thickness are mediated by leptin, suggesting leptin may play a key role in cartilage thinning.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Stannus, OP (Mr Oliver Stannus)
UTAS Author:Cao, Y (Associate Professor Yue long Cao)
UTAS Author:Antony, B (Dr Benny Eathakkattu Antony)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
UTAS Author:Ding, C (Professor Chang-Hai Ding)
ID Code:87012
Year Published:2015 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:43
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-11-05
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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