Fat-storing protein predicts development of metabolic syndrome independent of obesity

Source: PubMed.gov, August 2012

A new study has found that leptin, a protein that regulates fat storage in the body, can be used to identify the development of metabolic syndrome (MS) independent of baseline body mass index (BMI). MS is a term used to describe an array of several cardiovascular risk factors including dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Though obesity increases the risk of developing the syndrome, it is not necessary or sufficient to cause it. The study aimed to prove the hypothesis that leptin may predict the development of the syndrome.

The study used a pool of volunteers whose measurements of leptin as well as the other causes of MS were available at five and 10 years. Leaders of the study combined the five factors of MS with the measurements of leptin to create a MS summary score. The results proved that baseline levels of leptin can identify the development of MS independently of baseline BMI.