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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 27, 2017

Concentrations of leptin, adiponectin and other metabolic parameters in non-obese children with Down syndrome

Nikhil Tenneti, Devi Dayal, Sheetal Sharda, Inusha Panigrahi, Mohammed Didi, Savita Verma Attri, Naresh Sachdeva and Anil Kumar Bhalla



Recent data indicates that adults with Down syndrome (DS) are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) that significantly contributes to their morbidity and mortality. Although identification of cardiometabolic risk factors during childhood is desirable to design preventive interventions, the data on such risk factors in children with DS is scarce. The aim of this study was to study the cardiometabolic risk factors such as insulin resistance (IR), leptin and adiponectin concentrations, lipid abnormalities and leptin resistance in non-obese children with DS.


This cross-sectional case control study included karyotype confirmed trisomy-21 DS children aged 2–12 years and their matched healthy controls. After detailed anthropometry, weight, height and body mass index (BMI) standard deviation scores (SDSs) were calculated with reference data. Laboratory evaluation included determination of fasting lipid parameters, insulin, glucose, leptin and adiponectin concentrations. The homeostasis model assessment method (HOMA-IR) was used to assess IR and the ratio of leptin to BMI was used as an index of leptin resistance.


Seventy-seven children (39 with DS and 38 controls) comprised the study cohort. The anthropometric parameters were similar in the two groups. Children with DS showed significantly higher mean leptin concentrations (2.098±1.68 ng/mL vs. 1.44±0.52 ng/mL, p-value: 0.00) and higher indices of leptin resistance (0.127±0.085 vs. 0.09±0.03, p-value: 0.001) as compared to controls. Fasting adiponectin concentrations were lower (20.64±19.87 ng/mL vs. 32.58±34.25 ng/mL, p-value: 0.21) and fasting glucose higher (89.25±8.12 mg/dL vs. 85.71±5.52 mg/dL, p-value: 0.06) in the DS group as compared to the controls but the differences did not reach statistical significance. The concentrations of insulin, various lipid parameters and calculated HOMA-IR values were similar in the two groups. In the DS group, five children were identified to have high (>75th centile) leptin levels and four as impaired fasting glucose as compared to none in the controls.


Alterations of several cardiometabolic risk factors, in particular, leptin concentrations and leptin resistance are present in children with DS. The presence of hyperleptinemia without hyperinsulinemia suggests a probable inherent genetic basis for increased leptin resistance in patients with DS. There is a need for larger studies to further understand increased leptin resistance in DS that may contribute to increased CVD related morbidity and mortality in these patients.

Corresponding author: Dr. Devi Dayal, MD, Professor, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Center, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160012, India, Phone: 0091-172-2755657 (O), 0091-172-2772777 (R), Fax: 0091-172-2744401; 2745078, E-mail:

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2016-11-6
Accepted: 2017-7-3
Published Online: 2017-7-27
Published in Print: 2017-8-28

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston