Baseline Leptin Levels Predict Change in Leptin Levels During Weight Loss in Obese Breast Cancer Survivors

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Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone involved in regulation of satiety, and it also appears to have a role in breast cancer risk. Leptin therefore might be a useful indicator of the potential preventive effects of weight loss in breast cancer survivors. In this study we examined whether the change in leptin levels could be predicted by weight loss in obese breast cancer survivors. The subjects in this study were participating in a randomized trial of an individualized approach towards weight loss in Detroit, MI. Breast cancer survivors (body mass index of 30–44 kg/m2) were enrolled and fasting blood samples were obtained for leptin analysis over 1 year of study. Leptin levels were available from at least two time points for 36 women, and weight change ranged from a gain of 11% to a loss of 25% of baseline weight. Using a repeated-measures regression model, both baseline leptin level and concurrent percent body fat were found to synergistically predict leptin levels. Thus, for women with the same body fat, those with higher baseline leptin levels are predicted to exhibit smaller decreases in leptin with weight loss. Similar results were obtained for body weight and body weight change, but the associations with body fat were stronger. Breast cancer survivors with initially higher leptin levels may differ with regard to regulation of change in leptin during weight loss resulting in relatively smaller changes in leptin with equivalent amounts of weight loss.

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