22 November 2013
Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1043-1049
Our objective was to evaluate changes in serum leptin levels during pregnancy in overweight/obese and non-obese women and to assess total and percent weight gain during pregnancy as possible factors that influence leptin levels.
Material and Methods
In a prospective study of 42 low-risk pregnant women receiving prenatal care, we assessed serum leptin levels at gestational weeks 9–12, 25–28, and 34–37. Based on their pre-pregnancy body mass indices (BMIs), the cohort was divided into: non-overweight (BMI <25 kg/m2) and overweight/obese (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) subjects.
We found a progressive increase in maternal weight gain during pregnancy in both groups. There was also a progressive increase in leptin levels in the 2 strata; however, the increase was significantly higher in the non-overweight patient group. We found that non-overweight pregnant women had a noticeably larger total weight gain. When analyzing the percent weight gain during pregnancy compared to the pre-pregnancy weight, the non-overweight group had a significantly greater percent weight gain than the overweight/obese group.
Our results suggest that the greater increase in leptin levels in non-overweight pregnant women can be explained by the higher percent weight gain in this group compared to overweight/obese women. These findings suggest that controlling the percent weight gain may be an important preventive measure when controlling leptin levels during pregnancy and subsequent medical complications.
Keywords: Analysis of Variance, Anthropometry, Brazil, Gestational Age, Leptin - blood, Obesity - physiopathology, Overweight - physiopathology, Pregnancy, Prospective Studies, Weight Gain - physiology
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