Maternal leptin predicts adiposity of the neonate

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46 Scopus citations


Background: Increased adiposity at birth may identify infants at high risk of developing obesity. Maternal obesity and hyperglycemia in pregnancy are associated with increased neonatal adiposity; however, features of maternal obesity that contribute to increased neonatal adiposity need further study. Aims: To measure adiposity in neonates of obese and normal-weight women without gestational diabetes to test the hypothesis that obese women have neonates with increased adiposity compared to neonates of normal-weight women. Methods: Sixty-one pregnant women, with a normal or obese BMI, and their neonates participated in this cross-sectional study at an academic medical center. Neonatal adiposity, expressed as percent body fat (fat mass/body mass), was measured by air displacement plethysmography and cord blood was assayed for biomarkers. Results: Adiposity in neonates of obese and normal-weight mothers did not differ. Stratifying mothers by leptin level showed that neonates born to mothers with higher leptin had significantly higher adiposity (13.2 vs. 11.1%, p = 0.035). In the entire cohort, adiposity positively correlated with cord blood leptin (r = 0.48, p < 0.001) and adiponectin (r = 0.27, p = 0.04) levels. Conclusion: Obesity in normoglycemic pregnant women was not associated with increased neonatal adiposity. High maternal leptin levels identified neonates with increased adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Body fat
  • Fetal programming
  • Maternal obesity
  • Neonatal adiposity
  • Newborn body composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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