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Leptin in Human Milk and Child Body Mass Index: Results of the Ulm Birth Cohort Studies

Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, 89079 Ulm, Germany
Center for Pediatric Research Leipzig, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Leipzig Medical Center, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Department of Internal Medicine II - Cardiology, University Medical Center Ulm, 89081 Ulm, Germany
Deutsches Herzzentrum München, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany and DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Munich Heart Alliance, 80636 Munich, Germany
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1883;
Received: 18 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptin)
PDF [1010 KB, uploaded 13 August 2019]


The objective of the study was to investigate the potential association of human milk leptin concentrations with child body mass index (BMI) and BMI trajectory patterns up to two years of age among children in the Ulm SPATZ Health Study. Leptin concentration was measured in skimmed human milk by ELISA (R&D System). Child BMI was determined at two to three days, three to four weeks, four to five months, one year, and two years of age. In SPATZ, leptin concentration at six weeks was inversely associated with child BMI at four to five weeks [beta –0.13, 95%CI –0.21;–0.05)] and at three to four months –0.12 –0.21;–0.03)]. Among infants of average BMI shortly after delivery, six week leptin was positively associated with greater increase in BMI from four to five weeks up to two years of age [0.16 (0.04;0.27)]. No associations were observed for six month leptin. Direction of association was the same in the Ulm Birth Cohort Study (UBCS), but statistically insignificant as the point estimate included the null effect value. Our results from SPATZ suggest human milk leptin may play a role in early infant growth. However, it is plausible that the lack of associations in UBCS suggest that these differences of human milk leptin composition between populations could have an impact in infant growth and development in a given population. View Full-Text
Keywords: leptin; human milk; growth leptin; human milk; growth

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Logan, C.A.; Siziba, L.P.; Koenig, W.; Carr, P.; Brenner, H.; Rothenbacher, D.; Genuneit, J. Leptin in Human Milk and Child Body Mass Index: Results of the Ulm Birth Cohort Studies. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1883.

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